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HC seeks govt’s suggestion on use of words for specially-abled

SRINAGAR, NOV 18:  The High Court of J&K and Ladakh has asked the government to come up with suggestions on the use of words to be avoided as regards specially-abled persons in Jammu and Kashmir.

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by an advocate, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice N. Kotiswar Singh and Justice Moksha Khajuria Kazmi said that while the petitioner has submitted a Handbook on the list of words to be avoided while dealing with the specially-abled persons, “The official respondents have not come up with any such suggestion.”

“They may do the needful by the next date of hearing,” the court said and ordered the listing of the PIL for further consideration on December 20. 

Earlier this year, the Court had asked “all the parties involved” to submit a list of words that do not align with the dignity of individuals with disabilities.

The court had also asked its Registry to prepare a copy of the paper book and provide the same to the Advocate General along with various orders passed by it.

 “All the parties involved shall compile and submit a list of words that do not align with the dignity of individuals with disabilities. The Registry is directed to prepare a copy of the paper book, including copies of the orders, and provide the same to learned Advocate General,” the court had said.

In December last, the court had ordered that the specially-abled persons be treated properly by the language recognized internationally.

“…We also hope and trust that the society as a whole shall recognize their rights as guaranteed under the Constitution.”

The specially able persons, the court had said, be treated properly by the language recognized internationally. “We also direct the respondents to ensure that the facilities …are provided/developed, if not, already existing,” the court had said.

The court said that it expects that the officials shall ensure full respect and honour to all citizens in terms of their personality without letting them suffer any impression that the society and State see and address the “physically and mentally challenged persons as liabilities carrying personalities and, as such, sensitivity has to be in full operation”. “The concern of the petitioner is that the respondents (Centre and J&K government) who use the language guidelines already introduced universally and the list of words and their alternate words enumerated, mentioned, illustrated so that internal and external communications must be respectful physically as well as mentally,” the court had said.  Across the world, respectful language, disability communication and disability etiquette have been prescribed, mentioned and used during communications, pleadings, judicial orders, academic writings, official work, educational textbooks, and pamphlets across public and private offices, the court had observed.

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