By Adnan Rafique
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has ordered the federal and provincial governments to fill all vacant posts as per the employment quota reserved for people with disabilities. “It must be ensured that disabled persons from the same area/region are accommodated/appointed against regional quotas,” says the 11-page written order.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan authored the order while hearing a constitutional petition filed by pre-eminent members of the disability movement in Pakistan through their counsel Barrister Raheel Kamran Sheikh seven years ago. The three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed also directed that provisions of laws relating to rehabilitation and employment of disabled persons be followed and implemented in letter and spirit.
“The federal and provincial governments are directed to ensure establishment of grievance redressal mechanisms to redress grievances of disabled persons and awareness campaigns regarding availability of these grievance redressal mechanisms be run.” The court also ordered that the federal government, provincial governments, PEMRA, PTV, PBA and PBS will raise awareness through public service broadcasts of programmes or messages.
“The federal and provincial governments, as well as development authorities, shall ensure enforcement of the Accessibility Code, 2006.â€ Likewise, road transport authorities are directed to ensure making public transport accessible for persons with disabilities. “Pakistan Railways shall progressively build proper ramps at train stations.”
The transport and development authorities will ensure availability of accessible toilets at train stations, local bus stands, service areas of bus stations, motorways and highways, says the order. The court further directed that the transport and development authorities shall arrange for the construction of ramps and arrange safe and reliable facilities for the boarding of buses and trains by disabled persons.
“The authorities and agencies concerned at the federal as well as provincial level shall make appropriate arrangements for the availability of accessible parking and ramps at public parks and provisions of accessible washroom and ramps in malls, parks, public places.â€ “All development authorities will ensure enforcement of quota in allotment of residential plots and houses as provided in the relevant laws, rules and regulations.”
The order further says that directions are also issued to all concerned to implement the court October 11, 2018 order in letter and spirit. The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics in consultation with NADRA and other departments and agencies of the federal and provincial governments shall publish and periodically update, accurate and updated figures and statistics regarding person with disabilities and upload the same on its website, says the order.