Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: After multiple objections were raised to the draft guidelines on ‘Carriage by Air of Persons with Disability and/or Persons with Reduced Mobility’, the bench of Hemant Gupta and V. Ramasubramanian, JJ has asked the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to allow 30 days’ time to the petitioners to submit their objections/suggestions “even if the time limit for submission of the suggestions has come to an end.”

The Court specifically stressed on two aspects to be considered by the DGCA before bringing into force he draft guidelines that were brought to the public domain in the year 2021.

  1. Manually lifting differently abled persons without their consent: No differently abled person should be manually lifted without his consent as lifting of a person manually is inhumane. How, the differently abled person should be treated with dignity is left to the DGCA.
  2. Directing some differently abled persons to remove their prosthetic limbs/calipers as a part of the security check: In the draft guidelines circulated, it has been mentioned that scanning of prosthetic limbs/calipers though full body scanner but to what extent differently abled persons with prosthetic limbs/calipers are required to be checked for the purpose of security should be in a manner where, no such person is asked to remove prosthetic limbs/calipers to maintain human dignity while ensuring the requirement of security checks.

In 2016, the first petitioner Jeeja Ghosh, who was de-boarded from the plane of a private airline for being disabled, was awarded a sum of Rs. 10,00,000 as damages to be payable to the petitioner for the mental and physical suffering experienced by her and also unreasonable discrimination against her. The Court had said,

“Non-disabled people do not understand disabled ones.”

Read more: Jeeja Ghosh to receive Rs. 10,00,000 as damages from being de-boarded from an aircraft for being disabled

[Jeeja Ghosh v. Union of India, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 1178, order dated 01.12.2021]


Counsels:

For petitioners: Colin Gosalves, Sr. Adv.

For Respondent: Aishwarya Bhati, ASG

Legislation UpdatesNotifications

S.O. 1700(E).— In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (4) of the Section 3 of the National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999 (44 of 1999) and in supersession of the notification of the Government of India in the erstwhile Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment vide number S.O.881 (E) dated the 22nd September, 2000 published in the Gazette of India, Part II, Section 3, sub-section (ii), dated 25th September, 2000, the Central Government hereby reconstitutes the Board of National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities with immediate effect.

Please follow the link for detailed notification: NOTIFICATION


[Notification dt. 03-05-2019]

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: “Non-disabled people do not understand disabled ones.” This is what the bench of Dr. A.K. Sikri and R.K. Agrawal, JJ said when it was deciding the matter relating to de-boarding of the petitioner from the plane of a private airline for being disabled. The Court awarded a sum of Rs. 10,00,000 as damages to be payable to the petitioner for the mental and physical suffering experienced by her and also unreasonable discrimination against her.

In defence of such an unreasonable action on part of the crew members, the airline had taken the stand that the person having cerebral palsy would, in emergency situation, not be able to respond to the safety instructions and she is a risk to herself and potential danger to the lives of co-passengers also. The Court said that this act was contrary to the Civil Aviation Requirements, 2008 which prohibits the airlines from refusing to carry a person with disability or person with reduced mobility. It was further said that the manner in which she was treated while de-boarding from the aircraft, depicts total lack of sensitivity on the part of the officials of the airlines.

The petitioner, an Indian citizen with cerebral palsy, is an eminent activist and a Board member of the National Trust, an organization of the Government of India, set up under the National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities, Act, 1999. [Jeeja Ghosh v. Union of India, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 510, decided on 12.05.2016]