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Supreme Court to Address Alleged Discrimination Against Specially-Abled Passengers at Airports

Supreme Court of India

Last Updated on February 27, 2024 by News Desk

Introduction:


Arushi Singh, a specially-abled woman, has taken her grievance of alleged humiliation at Kolkata airport to the Supreme Court. Singh, a law graduate, recounts an incident where she was repeatedly asked to stand during security screening despite her disability. The insensitivity displayed by the airport personnel has prompted Singh to seek justice through a writ petition.

Issue:


The central issue revolves around the alleged discrimination faced by Arushi Singh, a wheelchair-dependent passenger, during her airport experience. Singh contends that despite her repeated explanations about her disability, she was asked to stand multiple times during security screening, causing her distress and stripping her of her dignity.

Rule:


Singh’s counsel highlighted the need for enforcing regulations and operating procedures aligned with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act and Civil Aviation Requirements. They emphasized the necessity for a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to address the specific needs of wheelchair-dependent passengers and ensure their dignified treatment during airport procedures.

Analysis:


The bench, led by the Chief Justice of India, instructed Singh’s counsel to serve a copy of the petition to central agencies involved in civil aviation. The court expressed intent to direct the Union to formulate an SOP tailored to address the challenges faced by wheelchair-bound passengers. Singh’s petition seeks directives to enforce existing regulations, establish reasonable classifications for passengers with disabilities, and implement sensitization campaigns for airport security personnel.

Conclusion:


The case of Arushi Singh vs. Union of India underscores the importance of upholding the rights and dignity of specially-abled individuals in public spaces, particularly airports. The Supreme Court’s intervention to address the alleged discrimination faced by Singh sets a precedent for ensuring inclusivity and accessibility for all passengers. As the case progresses, it is hoped that appropriate measures will be taken to prevent similar incidents and promote a more accommodating environment for passengers with disabilities at airports nationwide.

Written by — Athi Venkatesh

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