A month after Bombay High Court, while hearing a PIL, directed Maharashtra government and the directorate of education to seek reports on facilities for disabled students provided by educational institutes and universities in the state, the state government today told the court that it has instructed all educational institutes to ensure their buildings are disabled-friendly. The state government made this submission before a bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Naresh Patil.
Akanksha Kale, a resident of Pune, had filed the petition in 2016 through her lawyer Satyavrat Joshi after she could not attend her classes in a college because of lack of disabled-friendly infrastructure. While hearing the PIL, the court had directed the college to make disabled-friendly arrangement in the college campus. The Bombay High Court had also ordered the state government to ensure that all schools and colleges have proper facilities for differently-abled students. She moved the high court again in the month of July this year, saying many educational institutes had not complied with the direction.
Mumbai University’s lawyer Rui Rodrigues today told the court that "the government issued an order recently according to which all educational institutes should provide a disabled-friendly environment". A government resolution or order, dated August 23, stated that all educational institutes must provide barrier-free access and other requisite infrastructure facilities as required by the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. The lawyer told the bench that as per the new order, newly constructed buildings of educational institutes will not be given completion certificates if the buildings are found to be not disabled-friendly. Later, the court asked the state government to file a compliance report within three months on the implementation of the government resolution.