Winning a legal battle in the Supreme Court for the differently abled
Looking after the rights of the differently abled persons has been a top priority for the Foundation. After the enactment of Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, the Union Government and the Governments of States and Union Territories were neglecting the implementation of the various provisions of this Act. The Foundation filed Writ Petition No. 116 of 1998 in the Supreme Court of India for implementation of all the provisions of the Act.
Initially, there were two respondents, but later 32 others including all states and union territories were impleaded as party respondents. The Government and Universities were not allowing visually challenged, to teach in any school or college. In 2001, the Foundation got an Order for appointment of visually challenged candidates to teaching posts. This broke the barriers against the visually challenged to be teachers in any educational institution. However, it took eight more years for Ms. Manjula Rath to get the post of a Lecturer in Delhi University. The Foundation pursued the writ petition with diligence for 16 years and won it in the long run. The Petition was finally disposed of by an Order dated 26-03-2014 of 3 Judges Bench presided over by Chief Justice Lodha and comprising, Justice Mukhopadhaya and Justice Misra in favour of the disabled persons with the following observations and directions:
1. In our view, the 1995 Act has to be implemented in the letter and spirit by the Centr al Government, State Governments and Union Territories without any delay, if not implemented so far. 2. We, accordingly, direct the Central Government, State Governments and Union Territories to implement the provisions of the 1995 Act immediately and positively by the end of 2014. 3. The Secretary, Ministry of Welfare, Government of India, the Chief Secretaries of the States, the Administrators of Union Territories, the Chief Commissioner of the Union of India and the Commissioners of the State Governments and Union Territories shall ens ure implementation of the 1995 Act in all respects including with regard to visually disabled persons within the above time .