Provide court documents in readable format to visually impaired litigants: Delhi HC
Justice Anoop Kumar Mendiratta said the right to access to justice includes the right to receive documents in a language and means of communication preferred by the parties involved
The Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi government to make necessary arrangements to provide court documents to visually impaired litigants in Braille script.
Dealing with a plea of anticipatory bail filed by a visually impaired rape accused, Justice Anoop Kumar Mendiratta said the right to access to justice includes the right to receive documents in a language and means of communication preferred by the parties involved.
He directed that the accused as well as the prosecutrix, both of them visually impaired, be provided court records in Braille script.
The judge noted that the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 casts a positive duty on the government to ensure that all public documents are in accessible formats and to provide necessary facilities and equipment to facilitate recording of testimonies, arguments or opinion given by persons with disabilities in their preferred language and means of communication.
In the present case, the court noted, both the petitioner, who is the accused in the rape case, and the prosecutrix sought the effective enforcement of their rights and are "entitled to be well versed with the proceedings of the litigation".
"The State is directed to make suitable arrangements and provide the prosecutrix as well as the petitioner the copy of the documents to which they are legally entitled in their preferred language and means of communication i.e. Braille script to ensure that they can effectively pursue and protect their legal rights," it ordered.
"The state government is also directed to make necessary arrangements for providing court documents in a readable language to the visually impaired in all such cases wherever the circumstances so warrant and information be suitably disseminated to bring it to notice of all concerned," the court said.
In the rape case, the prosecutrix has alleged that the accused established physical relationship with her on the assurance of solemnisation of marriage.
The court granted pre-arrest bail to the accused on a personal bond of Rs 25,000 with one surety of the like amount, noting that his custodial interrogation or any recovery is not required anymore and that he is differently abled.
At that stage, the prosecutrix prayed that a copy of the order be provided to her in Braille script.