High Court seeks Railways response on unique disability ID cards

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Indian Railways to respond on a petition claiming it was not accepting the Unique Disability Identity (UDID) card issued by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, for availing concession on tickets.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice Rajendra Menon also asked the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities to submit its response on the plea.

National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD), in a petition filed in public interest before the High Court, has alleged that the Indian Railways was issuing separate ID cards to disabled persons for availing concession.

Senior advocate P.V. Surendranath and advocate Subhash Chandran K.R., representing the NPRD, said that the Railways’ disability ID card was in conflict with UDID issued under the auspices of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

The ‘Unique ID for Persons with Disabilities’ project was implemented with a view of creating a national database for persons with disabilities, and to issue a UDID to each person with disability.

The objective of this project is to enable persons with disabilities to obtain the new UDID card to avail schemes and benefits provided by the government through its various Ministries and their Departments. This card is valid pan-India.

The plea said that before the UDID, persons with disabilities were compelled to procure separate certificates/cards for each specific entitlement or benefit under different schemes of the government.

It said that for identification as a disabled person, one needed to procure a disability certificate from a designated hospital, and for availing an Indian Railways concession, a separate certificate from a hospital authorised by the Railways had to be obtained.

Given the multitude of problems that persons with disabilities faced on account of their having to procure multiple number of certificates, the NPRD had demanded the introduction of a disability card, which would be valid for all purposes, across States, departments and boards.

“The UDID became a reality after persistent efforts and years of advocacy,” the petition said. It contended that the Indian Railways is responsible for discriminating against persons with disabilities by not accepting the UDID cards.

The plea further argued that the Railways’ decision on a separate ID card was not only violative of Article 14 of the Constitution, but also impair and impinges all other fundamental rights of persons with disabilities, adding that “it restricts and create barrier in the enjoyment of amities of life” by persons with disabilities.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 5:30:54 AM |

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