It is the duty of every institution to extend a helping hand to disabled persons, the Supreme Court today said. The observation by the apex court came while hearing a thalassaemia patient's plea claiming that she falls under the category of persons with benchmark disability as prescribed under the provisions of the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and A M Khanwilkar directed the Chhattisgarh government to constitute a medical board to ascertain whether the petitioner, Sruchi Rathore, would fall under the the ambit of the Act. "It is directed that the State of Chhattisgarh shall instruct the competent authorities to constitute the requisite medical board within two days and the petitioner shall be examined on August 16, 2017. "The result of her examination shall be produced before this Court on August 18, 2017.
It has to be borne in mind that it is the duty of every institution to extend helping hand in its command to the disabled persons. In case the petitioner passes the benchmark as per the 2016 Act, her case may be considered," the bench said. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner, said that her case should be considered as a person with disability for the purpose of admission to any medical stream. He also contended that under the Act, five per cent of the seats for the persons with benchmark disability, someone with not less than 40 per cent disability, are required to be reserved. The bench said that the "statutory command" of five per cent reservation for benchmark disability, "has to be followed in letter and spirit". Thalassaemia, an inherited blood disorder, falls under the category of benchmark disability subsequent to the 2016 amended Act. The other newly added types of benchmark disability include mental illnesses, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, chronic neurological conditions, specific learning disabilities, multiple sclerosis, speech and language disability, hemophilia, sickle cell disease, multiple disabilities, including deaf blindness, acid attack victims and Parkinsons disease.
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