Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court ruled that specially-abled persons should be treated properly by the language recognized internationally.
“The specially-abled persons be treated properly by the language recognized internationally. We also hope and trust that the society as a whole shall recognize their rights as guaranteed under the Constitution,” the High Court said.
A division of Justice Al Mohammad Magrey and Justice Rahul Bharati was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL).
The Public Interest Litigation was filed by advocate Badrul Duja seeking direction for declaring words such as mentally retarded, sick, unfortunate, handicapped, abnormal, mental, unfortunate, crippled, deformed, dwarf, mad person, disabled, mongoloid, etc used for persons with disability as “undignified and violative of Article 14,15 and 21 of Indian Constitution.”
“The specially-abled persons be treated properly by the language recognized internationally. We also hope and trust that the society as a whole shall recognize their rights as guaranteed under the Constitution,” the court said.
In the PIL, Badrul Duja pleaded that persons suffering a disability are known as specially-abled persons but in internal and external communications of government offices, judicial orders, notifications, orders, etc disabled persons are referred to as mentally retarded, crippled, unfortunate, abnormal, dumb, etc and “such words be declared as violative of Fundamental right of equality and dignity.”
He submitted a list of words prescribed by the UN in 2019 when UN disability-inclusive language was introduced and sought the replacement of existing words with UN-prescribed disability-friendly words.
“Mental retardation word used in section 2(g) of The National Trust for the welfare of persons with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, and multiple disabilities Act 1999′ is against disability terminology and nomenclature and should be struck down as unconstitutional,” he said.
The court also ruled that in the event of any specially-abled person becoming the victim of some commission of offences, respondents should ensure the recording of their statement at their place of convenience/residence.
Union of India through the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry along with the J&K government and others were directed to submit a detailed response to the petition.