HC seeks status report on institutions for persons with disability in Bihar
The Patna high court has sought the exact status with regard to the establishment and functioning of all the institutions within Bihar falling with the ambit and scope of the Rights of Persons Disability Act, 2016
The Patna high court has directed Bihar’s principal secretary, department of education, and the state commissioner for persons with disabilities to file their separate but personal affidavits after ascertaining the exact status with regard to the establishment and functioning of all the institutions within the state falling with the ambit and scope of the Rights of Persons Disability Act, 2016.
Hearing a petition of Raj Kumar Ranjan, the bench of chief justice Sanjay Karol and justice Sanjay Kumar, in its order uploaded on Friday, also referred to its December 5, 2020 order in relation to the establishment and functioning of the schools meant to house and impart education to the children falling within the ambit and scope of the Rights of Persons with Disability Act, 2016. The court had then asked the state to respond to the petition seeking secure educational facilities for the visually challenged in Bihar.
“The authorities shall also deal with the issues highlighted in our December 2020 order, for we find they have not been dealt with in the respective affidavits filed thus far. We had elaborately discussed the need and importance of the authorities to periodically carry out inspections, ensuring requisite infrastructure to be in place,” the bench said.
The affidavit of December 2020 was filed by the then chief secretary, government of Bihar. “It is apparent from that affidavit that there are vacancies of teachers which are yet to be filled up. This position is with regard to the institution housed to impart education to visually impaired children. The amicus curiae has also invited our attention to another affidavit filed by the state commissioner disability, which points to lack of inspection of schools,” the order said.
The Act prescribes the rights and entitlements of a child with disabilities. The Section 3(4) mandates that no person shall be deprived of his or her personal liberty only on the ground of disability, and Section 4 directs the government to take measures, ensuring that women and children with disabilities enjoy their rights equally with others, while Section 17 provides for the appropriate government to conduct a survey of school-going children, to be done every five years, to identify children with disabilities, ascertain their special needs and the extent to which they are required to be met.
An adequate number of teacher training institutions are required to be established, and trained experts are needed to be appointed for imparting education and support in all the educational institutions at all levels of school education.
The court said fresh status with regard to the institutions established within Patna municipal limits also needs to be ascertained.
Earlier this year, the same bench directed the chief secretary to take all steps for setting up the state mental health authority as per section 45 of the 2017 Mental Healthcare Act.