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PIL requests Chief Justice to intervene in the access order

DNIS News Network -- A letter written by the Disabled Rights Group (DRG) to the Chief Justice of India, V.N. Khare, recommending that election procedures be made disabled friendly, is being treated as a Public Interest Litigation (PIL). It will come up for hearing in the Court of the Chief Justice on April 16 2004.

A DRG delegation outside the house of the Chief Justice of India, V.N. Khare, demanding accessible elections.

DRG wrote to the Election Commission in early March to provide disabled voters with facilities such as ramps and Braille stickers. Activists have slammed as "too little and too late" the EC directive to provide wooden ramps "wherever possible".

"We have been trying to get the Election Commission to act on our recommendations, but so far nothing has been done. It is for this reason that I have been on a fast-unto-death," said Javed Abidi, convener, DRG. "The Disability Act was passed in 1995 but if the issue of the disabled is so non-serious in this country, then what is the meaning of such an act?"

"There are about 4.5 crore disabled voters in India. How long are they expected to suffer? Something needs to be done; this is the fourth General Election since the act came into force," Abidi added.