Supreme Court raps Arunachal and other states over slow implementation of Disability Rights Act

The Supreme Court expressed dissatisfaction on Monday over the sluggish progress in implementing the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (PwD) Act, 2016, stating that it remains at a “dismal stage.” The court particularly criticized the failure of some states to formulate the necessary rules outlined in the Act. Among the issues highlighted, the court noted the absence of special courts for expeditious trial of cases involving persons with disabilities in Arunachal Pradesh and West Bengal. Additionally, public prosecutors have not been appointed in courts in Chhattisgarh and Daman & Diu.

A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice JB Pardiwala heard a plea seeking the establishment of district-level committees to enforce the Act. Despite the passage of time, the court observed that the implementation of the Act remains lacking. It pointed out that many states have yet to draft the required rules under the Act. Furthermore, several states have not appointed commissioners as mandated by the Act.

“We are of the view that the state of the implementation of the Act needs to be rectified promptly,” the bench remarked. It scheduled the matter for further hearing in the second week of July. Under the Act, states are empowered to formulate rules governing various aspects, including the establishment of a committee for disability research, composition of district-level committees, determination of salaries and allowances for the state commissioner, and allocation of funds for persons with disabilities.

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