The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has issued notice to Delhi government on the petition filed by wheel chair- bound Disability Rights activist, Nipun Malhotra seeking directions to restraint the state from acquiring 2000 public transport buses which are not disabled friendly.
The bench, also comprising Justice Sanjiv Khanna, however, declined to grant a stay order against the Delhi the government from procuring these buses.
Malhotra in his Petition, challenged the Delhi High Court's (HC) October 22, 2018 order which had dismissed his PIL.
Terming the HC order "an erroneous interpretation of law", Malhotra alleged that the court had disregarded the rights of accessibility of the disabled community and the elderly persons, as envisaged under Article 14, Article 15, Article 19 and Article 21 of the Constitution of India, Section 41 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
The petitioner prayed for directions to the Delhi government and its transport department "to take immediate steps to conduct a study involving representatives from the disabled community for procurement of disabled friendly, accessible low-floor public transport buses, and to mandatory involve persons with disability in policy decisions, such as purchase of public transport, which affects Persons with Disability".
Malhotra has cited the Apex Court's rulings in the Rajive Raturi v. Union of India and Jeeja Ghosh v. Union of India cases.
Appearing for the Petitioner, Advocate Jai A. Dehadrai, assisted by Advocate Siddharth Arora, argued that the HC has premised its judgment on a misinterpretation of the provisions of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act i.e., that only 10% of public transport should be accessible.
The bench also refused to hear the private party/successful bidder- Antony Road Transport, who appeared as the caveat Party.