The High Court directed Registrar General of the Court, Principal District Judges of Srinagar and Jammu, Head of the Department of Architecture in the Abdul Ahad Azad Memorial Degree College, Srinagar, Vice Chancellors of the Central University as well as the Kashmir University to depute representatives which include judges, faculty members and students for taking out disability sensitization training programs.
“Urgent and immediate steps for conducting these programs should be taken and the schedule of the training placed before us within ten days from today,” the bench directed.
The directions came after Court was informed that the State Government has appointed the Disability Commissioner, Mohammad Iqbal Lone, as the Nodal Officer for coordinating all issues related to the disability audit trainings and “all matters which are subject matter of our consideration.”
In this regard, the division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Tashi Rabstan directed the Nodal Officer to collaborate with Nipman Foundation and ensure training programs in Srinagar as well as Jammu wherein representatives from all the departments are represented.
Apart from the sensitization program, the Nodal Officer and Nipman Foundation were directed to formalize a specific program for training of trainers which shall also be conducted with representatives from all the above authorities, courts as well as the universities.
Court observed that officers are transferred inter departmentally and regionally and “an officer posted with the, say Social Welfare Department today who undergoes a sensitization program today, therefore may be replaced by an official who has not undergone the training.”
“Lone must also bear in mind that a standalone one time training would not be sufficient and it would be necessary to make a schedule for repeat trainings so that every officer of the State is sensitized about making provisions for the differently-abled in the State,” Court directed and added, “Let such schedule be drawn up and also placed before us.”
The Counsel representing Nipman Foundation, Shrishti Kumar submitted before the Court that Mohammad lqbal Lone, has contacted the Nipman Foundation and the scheduling of training programs in Srinagar and Jammu is being worked out.
It was informed that in terms of order dated 10 April, 2019, a Committee was constituted by the Principal of the college which has examined the access audit checklist of the sensitization program which was submitted by Nipman Foundation.
In this regard, Court remarked that this Committee unfortunately did not join the representatives of Nipman Foundation as Court had directed.
“This Committee has given reports to the effect that contents of the program are as per the standards and practices followed globally. However, some contextual issues relevant to Kashmir stands identified by this Committee,” Court remarked.
Court directed Registrar Judicial to make available a copy of this report to counsel Srishti Kumar during the course of the day so that the same can be examined and the access to all of sensitization program suggested by Nipman Foundation be altered and modified to include the suggestions of the Committee.
Nipman Foundation was directed to place a formal document in this behalf before the Court within ten days.
A written submission was made by Nipun Malhotra with reference to sensitization program captioned "Access to All Sensitization Program" in which Nipman Foundation has suggested a one day workshop accompanied by a power point presentation, explaining all facets concerning sensitization towards the difficulties faced by the disabled.
The petitioner, Javed Ahmad Tak, who appeared in person, informed the Court about the difficulties which he is facing in accessing the court rooms.
The Registrar Judicial was directed to ensure that access to the court rooms to Javed Ahmad Tak is suitably enabled so that he may not face any difficulty in future. Court listed the matter on 29 May 2019.