No new buses that are not disabled-friendly will be purchased by the Tamil Nadu government anymore, the Madras High Court has addressed that any such purchases would be in violation of court order and disability laws.
“It will be in violation of court orders and the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act. If we find what you have done is contrary to the statute then you have to undo the same,” cautioned the first bench of Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, according to a TOI report.
The court, however, refused to prohibit the state from proceeding further with the procurement of new buses.
“The state is reminded that the statute and the orders of this court require new buses been procured as part of the public transport system to all be disabled friendly and it will not suffice to only have a percentage of the proposed number of uses to be acquired to be disabled-friendly,” the court said.
A PIL was moved by a disability rights activist challenging the decision of the Tamil Nadu government that only 10 % of buses procured for Metropolitan Transport Corporation would be disabled-friendly low floor buses and another 25 % would have a life mechanism or any other support system for wheelchairs.
Advocate A Yogeshwaran, representing the petitioner said that the high court in 2016 made it clear that buses plying in every route should be disabled friendly and that there cannot be select routes in which such buses are plied.
Referring to the various orders passed by the high court, the PIL contended the court had already made it clear that any new buses to be introduced in the fleet must meet the requirements of the disabled persons, the present government orders passed was a complete violation of the orders along with the provisions of the Rights of P . Persons with Disabilities Act and rules.