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Saturday, 27 September 2014

Rights for the disabled: Top court reprimands federal govt, provinces - ISLAMABAD , PAKISTAN

Calling the federal government’s response ‘unsatisfactory’, the Supreme Court has again ordered it to file a ‘proper concise statement’ over the plea regarding the enforcement of fundamental rights of millions of people with disabilities in the country.

The three-judge bench, headed by Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, also expressed annoyance with provincial governments for not filing a proper reply over the plea and again directed them to file their comprehensive statements within four weeks.

The bench has also issued notices to other respondents including Capital Development Authority, Higher Education Commission, Pemra, NADRA, Election Commission of Pakistan and Pakistan Television.

In February, Advocate Raheel Kamran Sheikh filed the petition on behalf of six disabled persons, requesting the apex court to direct all respondents to disclose their efforts to fulfill their obligations under the law and the Constitution for the enforcement of fundamental rights of persons with disabilities.

They appealed to the court to order the respondents to implement all the relevant provisions of the 1981 Ordinance and the Provincial Acts to ensure the employment of persons with disabilities against the disability quota in all government, commercial and industrial establishments.

During the hearing on Thursday, the bench appreciated the efforts of the counsel’s petitioners to highlight the issues of disabled persons, adding that these are the genuine cases, wherein the jurisdiction of Article 184(3) could be invoked.

The apex court made it clear that it would take up all the issues of disabled persons one by one as it is not in hurry to dispose of the case.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 26th, 2014.

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