In a new and welcome development, the Supreme Court website is now disabled-friendly. Hon’ble Justice DY Chandrachud has also written a letter to chief justices of various High Court of Indian urging them to make courts accessible to people who have disabilities.
The revamped Supreme Court website features a fully functioning audio captcha which helps people who have vision disabilities.
Even though the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act came into force four years back, some Courts are lagging far behind in implementing the Act. With the new developments, the Supreme Court is making justice more accessible to people with disabilities.
Hon’ble Justice DY Chandrachud who heads the Supreme Court’s e-committee has expressed that High Courts should take steps to make sure disabled lawyers and litigants are on an equal footing.
The Apex Court has also made some recommendations to lower Courts.
- Lawyers should be allowed to submit PDFs instead of print/ scanned copies of their submissions.
- Hard copies should be stored as PDFs but only in Optical Character Recognition format.
- Courts should ensure that Watermarks and stamps should be placed so that it does not harm smooth access.
- Court websites should be made accessible to disabled lawyers.
- In cases where visual captchas are required, audio captchas should be provided by the Court as well.
- SC asked High Courts to ensure that judgments should be available in PDF and HTML format.
- Court websites should have clearly labelled tabs/ buttons and a calendar to select dates as well.
According to physically disabled Corporate Lawyer, if Justice Chandrachud’ recommendation is implemented, it will help disabled lawyers and litigants a lot.