Mumbai: The Bombay high court has directed government authorities to respond to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by noted activist-lawyer Abha Singh and Nisha Jamwal, alleging absence of proper infrastructure and facilities for the differently-abled, especially wheelchair-bound persons, in public places.
A division bench of Justices Naresh Patil and G.S. Kulkarni was hearing the petition filed jointly against the state, BMC, disability commissioner and MMRDA regarding violation of disability rights. The petition drew attention to the absence of ramps and accessible bathrooms for wheelchair-bound persons in public and private establishments open to the public. The petition urged the court for directions to authorities to issue completion certificates to establishments and societies that were not complying with the law.
Advocate Singh asserted that establishments flouting disability rights cannot be issued a completion certificate according to rule 41 of the Development Control Regulations for Greater Bombay (1991) and provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act (2016), which mandate that all public and private establishments have accessible facilities to ensure participation of disabled persons in community life. The bench directed advocate general Ashutosh Kumbhakoni that notice be issued to all concerned government departments and that the matter be heard in three weeks’ time.