India: Delhi High Court Seeks State’s Response On Accessibility Of Public Pathways, Foot-Over Bridges To Persons With Disability

Asia-Pacific, Built Environment, News, April 4 2022

The Delhi High Court recently issued notice on a Public Interest Litigation filed over non-functionality of lifts and escalators attached to foot-over bridges in the national capital, said to be violating the rights of the elderly and persons with disabilities.

Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navneet Chawla has issued notices to the Chief Commissioner for persons with disability to file a status report, specifically indicating whether foot over bridges and other bridges in NCT Delhi are accessible to persons with disabilities and senior citizens, with an emphasis on the points dealt by the petitioner.

It also sought a status report indicating compliance with the Court’s directions to conduct a Social Disability Audit, passed in another matter being heard by Justice Najmi Waziri.

The PIL is filed seeking appropriate directions to the concerned respondents to ensure the convenience of and full accessibility to lifts, foot over bridges, and other public amenities and structures for specially-abled and senior citizens of India. The petition seeks to ensure compliance with the provisions under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, protecting the fundamental right to equality under Article 14, the fundamental right of freedom to move freely under Article 19 (1) (d), and the fundamental right to life with dignity under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

The petitioner is a practicing advocate seeking to bring the attention of the Court to the “abysmal state” of public infrastructure and the “lackadaisical approach” of the respondents to maintain basic accessibility mechanisms depriving the physically disabled and senior citizens of the basic human rights to access public buildings and structures.

Originally Posted on Live Law

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