The Madras High Court on Thursday, July 22, restrained the Tamil Nadu government from purchasing new buses as part of the public transport system unless they were equipped with disabled-friendly facilities, as per rights prescribed by the law.
The Court passed the interim injunction on a couple of pleas filed since 2005. The latest petition filed this year by Vaishnavi Jayakumar sought to restrain the state from acquiring buses without facilities for disabled persons.
The plea sought a restraining order till the time the state government complies with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 and the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules, 2017 and under the latter, especially Rule 15 in particular, according to which it is mandatory for every establishment to provide facilities to the persons with disabilities, Hindustan Times reported.
The bench observed that nothing noteworthy had been done to address the day-to-day problems faced by persons with disabilities.
The state submitted to the Court that the faced practical difficulties, especially finding resources to acquire the particular buses that are expensive and the road infrastructure, which is not currently built for such buses.
The government requested more time to develop a strategic plan; however, the Court refused and asked to adhere to the policy with immediate effect.
"There may be no room to manoeuvre and little scope for the court to delay the implementation of the policy as reflected in the statute and the laws made thereunder," the media quoted the Court's statement.
The case has been adjourned for August 19.