Volume 4 Issue 5 - March 01, 2006

Delhi High Court pulls up Indian Railways for not implementing Disability Act

D.N.I.S. News Network- In a huge breakthrough that may change the face of Indian Railways, the Delhi High Court has pulled up the world’s largest passenger carrier for not implementing the Disability Act despite a decade having gone by since the statute mandated barrier-free travel and special services.

Reacting to an affidavit submitted by the Railways in response to the Public Interest Litigation filed by Disabled Rights Group (D.R.G.), the two-judge bench said, “Even if there was no statute, the carrier should have thought of comfortable travel for disabled passengers.”

Further, Justices Vijender Jain and Rekha Sharma said that the time frame of six months as proposed by the Railways for conducting a technical feasibility survey of various stations to create access features is too long. The Judges asked Director of Establishment B. Majumdar, who was present in the Court, to finish the task in four months.

The Judges took note that affidavit talks only about ramps and not about lifts. Justice Jain drew the attention of the Railways to its massive revenue earning by A and A1 category stations and asked why lifts could not be installed at these stations.

The affidavit refers to the introduction of special coaches for disabled people and seeks eight-years to make them a part of all mail/express passenger trains. The court shot down the proposed time-frame and reduced it to two-years and also criticised the Railways for not proposing to add these coaches in Air - Conditioned (A.C.) category. The Judges asked why disabled people should be denied comfort of A.C. travel like all other passengers.

The Judges passed an order stating that all stations should not only have wheelchairs available but a clear signage, in English, Hindi and regional language, giving the name and location of the official incharge for providing this assistance.

“The Station Master will be held personally liable in case of a lapse,” the Judges added.

Taking cognisance of the need for broad based consultation in ensuring a holistic assessment and preparation of blueprint for making the Railways accessible, the Court asked the Railways to take feedback from D.R.G. and accommodate their suggestions.

Logo of Disability News and Information Service (DNIS)

N.C.P.E.D.P. Logo (External Website) DNIS is produced and managed by:
National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People

Screening Guidelines to be followed by CISF Security Staff for Passengers with Disabilities at Indian Airports

Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill

Mental Health Care Bill

CRPD Monitoring Report

National Policy

20 Stories of Change(book)

Press Release




Additional Links

Disability News and Information Service is produced and managed by:

N.C.P.E.D.P. Logo
National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (External Website)

C-43, South Extension, Part - II,
New Delhi 110 049, India
Tel: 91-11-26265647, 26265648
Fax: 91-11-26265649
Website: (External Website)