Chennai: The Disability Rights Alliance (DRA), a coalition of independent, community based organisations that advocate with and for people with any disability, has sent a representation to the legal authorities to speed up the process of constituting a special court under Section 84 of The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. This provision would help in speedy trial in the cases pertaining to Persons with Disability (PWD).
On a daily basis, there are numerous issues that the PwD face. “Persons with Disability are often subjected to discrimination in all the spheres of the life and face discrimination in education, health care settings, employment, other public places, and homes and personal settings,” it was quoted in the representation.
It further says that sexual violence and abuse are serious problems for persons with disabilities, especially for women with disabilities and persons with intellectual disabilities, who are at greater risk than non-disabled persons. A large number of women with disabilities are abused within institutions like hospitals and shelter homes.
Among the 128 cases of institutional abuse that Human Rights Watch documented, none of the women or girls had successfully been able to access, redress mechanisms for being institutionalised against their will or facing abuse within the institution. Most of the women and girls interviewed were not even aware of mechanisms for redress.
“Owing to these reasons, it is most essential and priority with utmost urgency to constitute a special court in all districts of Tamil Nadu. It would also ensure completely accessible facilities for persons with disabilities and reasonable accommodation and further to create awareness regarding the same,” said Smitha Sadasivan, member, Disability Rights Alliance (DRA).
She also said that there was one problem that the officials of Tamil Nadu Legal Service authorities put forth. “The officials said that if special court is constituted, all the cases of PwD will be directed only to those courts, meaning they would not be able to access the courts in near proximity to them.”
He had advised her that the state government could frame a separate rule that these cases could be taken up in any court, to avoid this issue. Currently, DRA is awaiting a reply from the authorities and say it is very likely that special courts would be constituted soon....