Kochi | The laudable policy inherent in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act should be implemented and not become a distant dream, the Kerala High Court has said and added that immediacy of action was warranted.
The observation by the court came while taking up a petition registered by the High Court on its own based on the news reports regarding the suicide by a 77-year-old physically challenged man in Kozhikode district in January allegedly over non-receipt of disability pension for last few months.
The court has given time to the lawyers of the Centre and the state government to take instructions on the matter which has been listed for hearing on February 23.
The High Court said that the apex court had observed that the RPWD Act visualises a sea change and conceives actualisation of the benefits provided under the said legislation.
"The whole grammar of benefit has been changed for the better and the responsibilities of many have been encompassed. In such a situation, it becomes obligatory to scan the anatomy of significant provisions of the Act and see that the same are implemented.
"The laudable policy inherent within the framework of the legislation should be implemented and not become a distant dream. Immediacy of action is the warrant," the High Court said.
It further said that section 24 of the Act deals with social security and states that the appropriate government shall, within the limit of its economic capacity and development, formulate necessary schemes and programmes to safeguard and promote the right of persons with disabilities for adequate standard of living to enable them to live independently or in the community.
The High Court said that a proviso to the section 24 states that the quantum of assistance to the persons with disabilities under such schemes and programmes shall be at least twenty-five per cent higher than the similar schemes applicable to others.
The court had suo motu taken up the matter after coming across news reports of the suicide by Joseph also known as Pappachan (77) who was a physically challenged person for allegedly not having received pension under the Social Security Scheme for the last few months.
Joseph had initially approached the Secretary of Chakkittapara Grama Panchayat and also the concerned Police station complaining about the non-receipt of pension and threatening to commit suicide if he did not get the same.
His daughter, who is aged 47 years, is also a physically challenged person and lives in an orphanage.
Chakkittapara Grama Panchayat had later told the media that Joseph had recently claimed the pension of some months due to him and his daughter and therefore, lack of money was not the reason behind him taking such an extreme step.