Published: 12th December 2017
Great news: SC tells all colleges to have disabled-friendly classes, hostels soon
After a wheel-chair bound student was forced to give up her seat at National Law University because it was not accessible to her, the SC has decided to make some amends
The Supreme Court today said it will pass an order on a plea seeking to make higher education institutions physically accessible for disabled students. A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said that it will pass certain directions on the issue and give some time for its compliance. The bench was hearing a plea filed by an organisation Disabled Rights Group in 2006, espousing the cause of a disabled girl who is 100 percent wheelchair bound. The girl, who wanted to study law, could not study at the National Law University and managed to gain admission in a private university.
Counsel for the petitioner organisation said the college at the private university does not have facilities for disabled students despite a law which mandates provision of facilities to such students. "She was made to stay in a hostel in a shared room with two other normal students, the bathroom did not have a ramp and there was no escort facility in the hostel for such students," he said.
He said Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, provided certain guidelines to be followed, which were not adhered to by higher education institutes.
The bench said three per cent reservation provided under the law is now being followed by the educational institutions.
"There is no tracking or monitoring whether these institutes are providing reservation or not to the disabled students. There is no reporting mechanism for the institutes," the council said. The bench then outlined three issues — a provision of reservation in higher educational institutions for disabled, all educational institutions being made physically accessible for disabled students and the scope of several provisions of the Act. "We will pass an order with regard to these issues," the bench said.