Get back on steps for physically challenged,SC tells DU

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Delhi University (DU) to explain what steps it has taken to redress the grievances of physically disabled students,who will be taking admission under the four-year undergraduate programme courses that will be implemented this academic session.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: May 28, 2013 1:28 am

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Delhi University (DU) to explain what steps it has taken to redress the grievances of physically disabled students,who will be taking admission under the four-year undergraduate programme courses that will be implemented this academic session.

“Look into the issues raised by them and file an affidavit on what facilities you are providing to them,” a bench of Justices B S Chauhan and Dipak Misra said while hearing a petition by Sambhavana,an NGO representing persons with disabilities.

The petition,argued by advocate Pankaj Sinha,urges the apex court to look into the issue of DU’s alleged lack of preparedness and legal regime to sustain the new format. The plea highlighted the difficulties likely to be faced by the visually impaired students,contending they will be forced to study mathematics and science without reading material in an accessible format,accessible laboratories and trained teachers.

During the hearing,senior counsel V P Singh,appearing for the university,sought to convince the bench that DU was ready for the switch and all the issues pertaining to visually impaired students were taken into account while devising the new curriculum for the four-year undergraduate programme.

The bench asked him to detail all the steps taken by the university in an affidavit and posted the matter for hearing on Wednesday. The court expressed its reservation over interfering with the “policy matter”,but made it clear that it would issue directives if it was not convinced by university’s reply.

The NGO has challenged Delhi High Court’s May 15 order,directing DU’s empowered committee to look into the students’ grievances by June 7 and submit the report to the Vice-Chancellor. The V-C is expected to submit the report on the decisions taken by June 15.

The petition claimed that their prayers would become redundant if the V-C is given time till June 15,since the admission for the new programme would start by then.

“Secondly,in case adequate arrangements are not made by the respondent (DU),it will become impossible to come back in the existing education system as the same would cause hardships as well as irreparable loss to the thousands of the students who are seeking admission for the said programme,” the petition said.

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