Madras HC seeks report on reliefs given to Differently-Abled persons during Pandemic

Madras High Court Law Insider
Madras High Court Law Insider

Deepali Kalia-

The Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy of the Madras High Court in a plea filed by NGO Universal Differentially sought response from the Tamil Nadu government with regard to the reliefs given to the differently-abled persons during the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic.

“The matter is of grave importance and it is hoped that the State takes immediate measures. Learned counsel for the State is directed to file an updated status report providing full particulars of the kind of relief measures that have been extended and the classes of persons who have benefitted thereby.” The Bench ordered.

The petition had contended that according to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 differently-abled persons at the time of crises are entitled to special treatment and that State despite orders by the Court has not taken any concrete measures and only given a small amount of Rs 1,000 as monetary relief when much bigger amounts were promised.

The State however submitted that a total sum of Rs Rs.58.33 crore has been credited to the bank accounts of the differently-abled beneficiaries which have benefited about 1,94,449 differently-abled persons. Further, the benefit of free ration supply was also mentioned by the State.

The second PIL, filed by M. Karpagam, a visually impaired advocate was also heard by the same Bench. During the hearing, Bench sought a report regarding how the government was planning on vaccinating various categories of differently-abled persons including the ones residing in distant areas of the State and who can’t leave their homes.

The Bench criticized the status report given by the Tamil Nadu government and said, “
The status report runs into three pages and the relevant matter is found in paragraph 6, which is completely vague and does not make any distinction between several classes of differently abled persons, particularly those who are homebound and completely unable to travel outside.”

The Bench, therefore, ordered, “A comprehensive set of instructions to be issued to appropriate officials in the State should be prepared and appended to the status report that should be filed.”

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