Deepak, 27, is elated. He is going to move from a third-floor rented accommodation to a ground floor house.
Suffering from acute cerebral palsy, he is 75 per cent disabled and dependent on his sisters who carry him up and down the 60 steps everyday.
But the ground floor flat didn’t come easy. Deepak’s father, Sitaram (70), had to run from pillar-to-post for 31 years and fight three court cases against DDA before he got the flat.
Ordering a ground floor flat for Sitaram, Justice G.S. Sistani, said: “This case shows not only the callous attitude of DDA but also that they are completely insensitive to problems of ordinary citizens”.
In 1979, Sitaram applied for a flat. He got it 25 years later in 2004 for Rs 4.29 lakh. But the flat was on the third floor. With a disabled son, Sitaram couldn’t even think of moving there.
On February 12, 2004, citing the policy of change of floor to the disabled, he requested DDA for a ground floor flat. Agreeing, the DDA asked him for medical certificates. For four years, nothing happened. Then he filed an RTI plea and was told that the policy for disabled is only for the applicant, not family members.
In July 2008, Sitaram moved the Delhi High Court through lawyer R.K. Saini. In March 2009, he got a ground floor flat for Rs 13.9 lakh, three times the earlier price of Rs 4.29 lakh.
Another court case ensued. Sitaram challenged the new cost when DDA itself was responsible for the delay.
Ordering the grand of ground floor flat for Sitaram at the 2005 rates, the court said, “The petitioner was made to wait endlessly hoping that DDA would consider his request. It was impossible for him to have accepted the third floor flat with a 75% disabled son.”