Delhi High Court holds that there are adequate provisions under Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016, to recognize, preserve and promote Indian Sign Language.
The court, however, rejected the claim of the petitioner to direct the government to include ISL in Schedule VIII of the Constitution.
The petitioner had argued that due to inadequate awareness about Indian Sign Language, persons with hearing disability suffer immense discomfort and discrimination. The lack of explicit government recognition affects the promotion and preservation of the language. Therefore, the government shall be directed to include Indian Sign Language in Schedule VIII of the Constitution.
The Division Bench of Justice Patel and Justice Shanker referred to the affidavit filed by the central government to highlight that there adequate provisions under various sections of Persons with Disabilities Act of 2016. For instance, section 16 preserves and promotes Indian Sign Language for the purpose of education while section 42 ensures the access to electronic information in sign language. The court also noted that the Indian Sign Language Training and Research Centre has been established by the government to promote the language. Therefore, the court did not see any reason in directing the government to take up any other steps to promote the said language.
On the question of including Indian Sign Language in Schedule VIII of the Constitution, the court noted the same is a decision that has to be taken by the government and not by the present court.