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SC orders disabled-friendly buildings

The Supreme Court yesterday ordered that public buildings to be constructed in the future should be easily accessible to disabled persons. The Court further ordered that such buildings should be facilitated with adequate sanitary facilities for such persons.

In terms of the Court oder local authorities are required to approve only building plans which meet these requirements. They are also required to issue certificates of conformity only to the buildings which are easily accessible by such persons.

The Court cautioned that future public buildings which are not disabled persons-friendly would be legally dealt with in terms of the Disabled Persons Accessible Regulations. The Court made these orders having heard the rights application filed by Dr. Ajith C.S. Perera, who is a disabled person and an activist. The Bench comprised Chief Justice Asoka de Silva, Justice Saleem Marssof PC and Justice S.I. Imam.

Petitioner Dr. Ajith C.S. Perera cited 67 respondents including Cabinet of Ministers and the Chief Secretaries to the Chief Ministers.

The Petitioner appearing in person submitted that although the rights of the disabled have been guaranteed under the Protection of The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act No. 28 of 1996 and the Disabled Persons (Accessibility Regulations) Regulations No. 1 of 2006 these rights are not recognized and neglected at public places.

The petitioner stated that a large number of disabled persons including the service personnel disabled in the war and elderly persons. Senior State Counsel V. Vigneswaran appeared for the respondents.

 

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