NEW DELHI: A Delhi University doctor associated with the University College of Medical Science (UCMS) on Thursday filed the first case under the new disability law against Uttar Pradesh minister of khadi and village industries, Satyadev Pachauri for publicly ridiculing a disabled employee.
Dr Satendra Singh lodged a complaint with the state commissioner for persons with disabilities in Lucknow, under Section 92 (a) of the Rights of Persons with Disability Act 2016. In his complaint, Singh, a disability rights activist, alleged that Pachauri humiliated a Class IV employee during his visit to an office in Lucknow on April 19.
According to Singh, "Section 92 (a) of the Disability Act states that anyone who intentionally insults or intimidates with intent to humiliate a person with disability in any place within public view shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to five years with fine."
In his complaint, Singh attached five media reports, including visual links from private news channels about the incident. "The minister ridiculed the entire (disabled) community, and as a disabled person and a resident of Uttar Pradesh, I am pursuing this case," said Singh.
On whether action can be taken on the minister under the new disability law, Singh didn't sound too optimistic. "As I said earlier, we will have to see what this new law has to offer. We all know it's a paper tiger," he added.
Pachauri, during his visit to the Khadi and Village Industries Board office in Lucknow on April 19 found that over one-third of the employees were absent. After ordering a day's salary cut, he started counting the number of staffers present.
While taking count of the employees, he questioned a disabled Class IV staff whether he was a permanent employee. When the disabled employee told Pachauri that he was a contractual staffer, the minister turned towards the chief executive officer and said: "Lulay langdon ko samvida par rakh liya hai, yeh kya kaam karega." (You have kept those suffering from disability of the limbs on contract, what work will he do).
Times of India: 23 April 2017