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Take care of disabled people as per law, governments told

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New Delhi, March 27 (IANS) The Supreme Court Thursday issued notice to the central and State governments and union territory administrations for enforcement of law to support the people with physical disability including mentally challenged so that they can live with "dignity and respect".

Noting that people with physical disabilities were living in pathetic conditions, a bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Prafulla C. Pant said that all the state governments have a definite role to see that the law to support the persons with disabilities which includes the mentally challenged people is properly implemented and they are "taken care of as commanded by the act.

The court order came after senior counsel V.K.Tanha gave his suggestions following his visit to Asha Kiran – a home for the mentally retarded people in Delhi – during the hearing of a petition by Reena Banerjee.

The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation Act, 1995 identifies the nature of disabilities and the obligation of the state to support people suffering from such disabilities.

Noting that the matter being dealt by it was rooted in the order passed by the Delhi High Court, the court in its order said: "Yet the pathetic situation of this category of persons which have been highlighted before us in other states cannot be ignored or marginalised."

It sought a comprehensive study of the situation where this "class of people are treated with dignity, respect and as far as practicable feel a part of the main stream of life".

"We are not oblivious of the fact that in every case, it may not be possible but there has to be an attempt to identify the possibility. We have been apprised at the bar that the said effort has not been made and, if made, that is not adequate enoughto meet the real challenge."

Directing the next hearing of the matter on July 8, the court in its order said: "This court hopes and trusts that the Union of India and all the states and union territories shall respond without taking recourse to any kind of subterfuge and none should take adversarial position for the present cause has its own sacrosanctity."

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