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Resource id #4 SC rejects plea of blind people - Volume 2 Issue 23: Disability News and Information Service for India

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Volume 2 Issue 23 - December 01, 2004

SC rejects plea of blind people

DNIS News Network - The Supreme Court argues that reservation in Parliament, legislative assemblies or local bodies is not a Fundamental Right for visually challenged persons.

The Supreme Court held that it was not a Fundamental Right for visually challenged persons to get reservation in Parliament, legislative assemblies or local bodies.

Supreme Court has expressed its inability to entertain a petition by visually impaired people, seeking direction for the Centre to make a law for reserving seats for them in Parliament, State Assemblies and local bodies.

Rejecting the PIL filed by Surya Prakash Mahapatra, a visually impaired person, a Bench comprising Justice N. Santosh Hegde and Justice S.B. Sinha said, “Such a claim did not fall within the purview of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed by the Constitution.”

Mahapatra personally argued his PIL and said that though visually impaired people form a sizable population in the country, the elected representatives have done nothing for their cause. Therefore, a certain number of seats in Parliament and other elected bodies should be reserved for them, he argued.

The Court said they were confusing the existing reservation facilities for disabled people with reservation for SC and ST in the Legislature. “Reservation in employment is entirely different than reservation in legislature,” the Court quoted.

In a passionate appeal, the petitioners pleaded with the Court, saying that politicians were least concerned about the problems of 12 crore disabled people in the country. But the Court, though sympathetic in hearing their case, expressed its inability to entertain the petition. It said, on the face of it, the PIL had no merits and hence it was dismissed.

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