SC seeks details of funds allocated for disabled persons by federal, provincial govts in last 5 years

Published October 18, 2018
A group of people on wheelchairs are seen in this file photo. — White Star/File
A group of people on wheelchairs are seen in this file photo. — White Star/File

The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the federal and provincial governments to provide details of funds reserved for disabled persons in their budgets of the last five years.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Azmat Saeed was hearing a petition filed by a number of disabled persons seeking directions for all provincial governments to formulate a uniform policy for the appointment of disabled people in government jobs.

The court also directed the governments to submit affidavits reaffirming they have been implementing the laws regarding the employment of persons with disabilities.

See: No comprehensive laws for welfare of disabled people in Pakistan: report

The governments were also instructed to state whether there is a need for more legislation to be done for the cause of physically challenged people or not.

"The government should inform whether it plans to do anything or not," Justice Saeed remarked during the hearing. "If it doesn't want to do anything, it should tell disabled persons the same."

Inamuddin, one of the petitioners, requested the court to order all provincial governments to draft a uniform policy for disabled people. He said disabled people wanted to take up jobs, instead of begging on the streets.

But Justice Saeed observed that a policy could only be formulated in view of available resources. "We want to end this issue by putting it on a fast track," he added.

The judge expressed the hope that the four provinces will compete against each other in taking steps to improve the conditions for disabled persons.

Petitioner Mohammad Bilal informed the court that healthy people are often recruited on the quota for disabled persons.

"[We] are aware that even people with a bruised finger are given jobs on the quota for disabled people," Justice Saeed commented.

The court warned that it will take action against non-compliance of its orders if the governments do not submit reports as directed by the bench. The hearing was subsequently adjourned until November 26.

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