New Delhi, July 25: The Supreme Court Wednesday pulled up the Centre over non-compliance of its last year’s verdict on providing safe access to transportation, buildings and public places to differently-abled persons and said that the government has to follow the law and its order.
The top court had on December 15 last year said that the right to dignity, which is ensured in the constitutional set up for every citizen, applies with much more vigour in cases of persons suffering from disability and it was the duty of the state and public authorities to lay down proper norms in this regard.
It also expressed annoyance over the states not complying with its order and warned that respective chief secretaries will be summoned to explain the delay.
A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan asked the Centre to file a detailed reply in four weeks on the steps taken so far and the timeline to comply with the direction of the court.
“Everything we said in the judgement of December 15, 2017, already existed in the statute. It is not something which is a creation of court. It was your (Centre) law and we just asked you to comply with it. It is your job.
“The government has to tell us the deadline for complying with the directions of the court. We are not running the government. You have to comply with the directions and the law,” the bench said.
It said that the deadline set by the Accessible India Campaign (AIC), to make 20-50 important state government buildings in 50 cities fully accessible, has not been met and all that was done is identification and audit of the buildings.
Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for the Centre, said that several of court’s direction has been complied with and the government will file an affidavit bringing the exact position before the court.
Advocate Rajan Mani, appearing for petitioner Rajiv Raturi, said that court had passed 11 directions, but only the basic things have been done and most of the directions are yet to be complied with.
He said that states like Assam, Uttarakhand, Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh and Dadar and Nagar Haveli have not even identified the buildings.
The bench asked the counsel for Assam and other states and Union territories to file a detailed affidavit in four weeks on the steps taken so far, and warned that it may call chief secretaries to explain the delay in complying with the directions.
The bench fixed the matter for further hearing on September 5.
The top court, in a fresh interlocutory application seeking to make judiciary disabled-friendly, especially for visually impaired people, issued notices to the registrar generals of all the high courts and the secretary general of the Supreme Court.
The apex court had on December 15 last year passed 11 directions which include making public institutions, transport and educational institutions disabled-friendly.
The top court passed a slew of directions, including all government buildings providing any services to the public be made fully accessible to differently-abled persons by June next year as per provision of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
On the issue of making 50 per cent of all the government buildings in the national capital and all state capitals fully-accessible by December this year, the court said though deadline for identifying such buildings was fixed as February 28 this year, only seven states have done this as per a status report of August this year.
It had directed the remaining states to identify the buildings by February 28 this year and said that it is made clear that no further time on this behalf shall be granted.
As deadline for retrofitting is concerned, the work should be completed by December this year, the court had said.
It also directed the states to identify 10 most important cities or towns and complete the accessibility audit of 50 per cent of government buildings at these places by February 28 and complete the retrofitting work by December next year.
NC takes out march to protest custodial killing of teacher
Srinagar, Mar 21: National Conference (NC) on Thursday marched from its Nawa-e-Subah headquarters here to protest against ‘custodial killing’ of a youth, stating that the death of a private school teachers is unacceptable.
The protesters led by NC’s provincial president, Nasir Aslam Wani carried out a rally today towards Tourist Reception Center (TRC) while chanting slogans in favour of their demands
Wani said the death of youth in custody is condemnable and to carry out a protest today was aimed to convey a message that such killings are unacceptable to the people of Kashmir.
“Though such killings have taken place in the past but now, the era has changed and it is unacceptable to people of Kashmir as we have moved far much ahead from the previous scenario,” he said.
He said that matter must be probed and those involved in the act be dealt with strictly.
Wani said the policies are being adopted here through which the situation is being deteriorated and will have serious consequences in the future.
He said arresting and killing people in custody won’t be tolerated by the people of Kashmir.
Earlier, National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah had also demanded a time-bound investigation into the custodial death of a school teacher in Jammu and Kashmir and exemplary punishment to those responsible for the death.
“I had hoped custodial deaths were a thing of our dark past. This is an unacceptable development & must be investigated in a transparent, time bound manner. Exemplary punishment must be handed out to the killers of this young man,” Abdullah had tweeted.
Rizwan Pandit, 28, died in police custody here during the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday, an official had said.
Pandit, who was a teacher at a private school and a resident of Awantipora in Pulwama district, was picked up by the security agencies three days ago, the officer as per reports had said.
Custodial killing of teacher: Kashmir Inc hold joint protest at Jamia Masjid
Srinagar, Mar 21: Various trade bodies on Thursday stage a protest against what they termed as killing of a civilian Rizwan Pandith of Awantipora on Tuesday in police custody.
Carrying placards and raising slogans, the traders held a joint protest at Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid, demanding the killing spree in the Valley be stopped.
“Killing of innocent civilian who was a private school principal is a deep-rooted conspiracy and a planned genocide of people of Kashmir,” the traders said.
Terming the incident as highly unfortunate, Sajad Gul, spokesman of the trade bodies said, “We urge the Indian civil society and international bodies such as Amnesty International to come forward and play its role. If this attitude of the Central government continues there will be serious consequences.”
“How can they kill any innocent without any justification? Civilians continue to get killed and get maimed at the will of trigger happy forces as it is the worst form of human rights abuses and violations in Kashmir,” Gul said.
He said because of the unbridled powers given to the forces and the lack of accountability, every day innocent civilians are brutally killed, which is condemnable in all forms.
Pertinently, JRL had appealed all segments of society including traders, lawyers, bar association, civil society and others to protest against the ‘custodial killing and assaults on Kashmiris’.
Those participated in the protest include KEA, KTMF, KCCI, KTMF(R), FCIK, Beopar Mandal S R Gunj and other trader bodies.
For hiring photographers, JKSSB wants Science not Mass Comm graduates
Srinagar, Mar 21: Much to the surprise of many aspirants, Jammu and Kashmir Service Selection Board (JKSSB) has entertained Science graduates over Mass Communication degree holders for the post of junior photographer.
The JKSSB on February 01, 2019 advertised number of posts including the post of junior photographer for home department.
But to the surprise of mass communication candidates, the JKSSB has only asked, those candidates to apply who possess bachelor’s degree in science and diploma in photography from a recognized institute.
“There are number of mass communication candidates who have been struggling to get the job. It is quite unfortunate that JKSSB has not considered us for the post, “said a mass communication candidate, Mudasir Ahmad.
Another candidate, Irshad Ahmad said that authorities at JKSSB should bring necessary changes in the eligibility criteria.
Irshad said it is not fair to deprive them from applying for the post.“I fail to understand, why we have not been considered for the job. The post requires technical qualification, B.Sc is an academic qualification, it has nothing to do with Photography. A mass communication guy has vast know how of the things, “he said.
When contacted, Public Relations Office (PRO), JKSSB, Ashwani Hansa said that the post has advertised in accordance with the indent received from the home department.