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Delhi HC seeks DU's reply on accessibility for persons with disabilities on campus


DU
The HC was hearing a plea by a university student, Jayant Singh Raghav who was visually impaired and raised the issue of providing assistance devices to students with disabilities during exams. NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has granted a last opportunity to Delhi University to file a comprehensive affidavit on the implementation of provisions of the Right of Persons with Disability Act.

The court also asked the varsity to file the affidavit to satisfy how the suggestions or report of the amicus curiae on physical infrastructure and accessibility for persons with disability have been implemented in the Campus Law Centre (CLC), Delhi University. It was informed by the counsel for Delhi University that the work for repair in toilets, corridors, open areas and provision of tactile and other facilities for persons with disabilities at CLC has been completed by the agency to the satisfaction of the competent authority of the varsity. Justice Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav said this was not the only expectation or requirement under the provisions of the Act or in the report submitted by the amicus curiae but there were various other requirements to be adhered to by the university.

"As a last indulgence, 7 days is granted to the respondent no.1- University to file a comprehensive affidavit to satisfy as to how the provisions of the Act of 2016 and the suggestions/ report of the amicus curiae have been implemented by the university," the court said. The high court was hearing a plea by a university student, Jayant Singh Raghav who was visually impaired and raised the issue of providing assistance devices to students with disabilities during examinations. The court had earlier appointed advocate Kamal Gupta as amicus curiae in the matter and he had submitted several suggestions in his report regarding the physical infrastructure and accessibility of CLC.

The report stated that as per the UGC guidelines, an access audit of CLC be directed to be conducted and a report be submitted to the court. The amicus also said the flooring of the entire outside area, on the ground floor of the CLC be ordered to be replaced with plain and even flooring and tactile be ordered to be installed on all the floors, inside and outside the buildings, in the entire campus of CLC. At least 10 more ramps with tactile at various locations in CLC be ordered to be erected and a washroom for the disabled on each floor be made functional, the report said, adding that no classroom shall have raised platforms.

The report said that the current building of CLC does not have a lift, even though it is mandatory according to the UGC guidelines and that the university be directed to provide the necessary funds. The court, in its recent order, said that the university was supposed to file a status report regarding the implementation of the provisions of the Act, taking into consideration the reports and suggestions made by the amicus curiae. The court had earlier directed that if the steps are not taken, it would consider passing directions for the personal appearance of the responsible officer. The court listed the matter for further hearing on December 7 and said that depending upon the nature of compliances it would consider passing appropriate order in the case. (THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)