Monday, August 10, 2015

Frame rules for appointing Disability Commissioner- Ktk HC

Frame rules to appoint commissioner for disabled, HC tells govt
Bengaluru, Aug 04, 2015, DHNS:

The High Court on Monday directed the State government to frame rules and guidelines for appointing the Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities in four months and to appoint a new commissioner by following the new rules.

Hearing a petition by the All India Physically Handicapped Welfare Association, challenging the appointment of K S Rajanna as the Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, a division bench comprising acting Chief Justice S K Mukherjee and Justice B V Nagarathna disposed of the petition. The bench passed an order stating that Rajanna can remain the commissioner till the new rules are framed and a new commissioner is appointed. The petitioners had contended that Rajanna - who himself is a disabled person - is not eligible enough to hold the position of Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities. The petitioner had challenged his appointment as the commissioner.

Source: Deccan Herald 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Trial Court takes offence to lack of dignified mobility & human rights of an accused with disabilities

Disabled accused made to crawl to fifth-floor court
Sana Shakil,TNN | Aug 6, 2015, 02.17 AM IST

NEW DELHI: A trial court here was left shocked when a disabled person, an accused in a criminal case, had to crawl on his hands to the fifth-floor courtroom because police did not think of arranging a wheelchair for him.

The accused, Yameen Malik, whose legs appeared to be deformed, was being produced in court on Monday for custody proceedings in a rape case.

When additional sessions judge Sanjay Sharma found Malik crawling in the courtroom, he questioned the investigating officer whether there were wheelchair facilities in the jail lock-up for production of disabled persons in court. The IO failed to give any answer.

"The court was shocked to see that the accused, who somehow managed to crawl on his hands, was produced before the court without a wheelchair. It means he has crawled all the way from the jail to this courtroom on the fifth floor of the complex. This is quite painful," the judge observed.

The judge has sought a detailed report from the Delhi Police commissioner and director general of prisons on what the existing provisions were for accused persons with disabilities.

The court said it appears that Malik was being produced in court in the same manner since he was arrested on July 27, 2015.

"This court is of the opinion that there was no arrangement (of a wheelchair) when he was arrested and lodged in police lock-up, produced before the court the first time and made to board the jail van as well as when he was received in jail lock-up at Karkardooma complex. The case demonstrates total lack of sensitivity and concern for the rights of a disabled person," the judge observed.

The court stated that a person with disabilities was entitled to an equal opportunity to access the justice system and could not be denuded of his basic human rights to be treated with dignity and respect. "...it is the duty of the state to make %the legal system accessible to such a person by making an effort to remove physical barriers," it stated in an order passed on Monday.

The court has asked the police commissioner to state whether wheelchairs are available at all police stations and jail lock-ups. It sought to know if there were any disabled-friendly toilets at police stations. The police chief was also asked if any direction had been issued to police stations for providing wheelchairs.

The judge told the police chief to inform the court about action taken against the IO of the case and lock-up incharge of Karkardooma court complex for violating directions, if any, on movement of disabled persons. Similar questions were put to the DG of Tihar regarding disabled-friendly facilities in the prison complex. Compliance reports from both offices are likely to be filed in court on Thursday.

Malik was arrested on charges of raping a minor girl. The case is at an initial stage.

A police officer told TOI that there were specific directions on how accused persons with disabilities are to be dealt with. Police are duty-bound to provide wheelchairs in such cases, he said. "Generally, we avoid arresting any accused with disability unless it's imperative and may affect investigations. But it's the duty of the investigating officer to arrange for a wheelchair before arresting the accused or producing him before the court," said the officer, who did not wish to be named.

Times View

It is shocking that a disabled person who is an accused should have had to crawl up five floors to be present in the courtroom. His human rights do not cease to exist merely because he is an accused, even if it is for a heinous crime. Indeed, they would not cease to exist even if he were convicted of that crime. Police should have ensured that he was provided a dignified means of getting up there. If for some reason that was not possible—say because the lift was not working—the proceedings should have been shifted to a venue, like the ground floor, more accessible to a disabled person.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Disabled-accused-made-to-crawl-to-fifth-floor-court/articleshow/48367771.cms