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.