Don't ask differently-abled to remove prosthetics: SC

Differently-abled should not be asked to remove prosthetic limbs at airports: SC to DGCA

The apex court asked DGCA to frame their security check guidelines in a manner that maintains human dignity

Representative Image. Credit: PTI File Photo

The Supreme Court has directed the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to ensure that differently-abled persons are not asked to remove prosthetic limbs/calipers to maintain human dignity while ensuring the requirement of security checks.

A bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Justice V Ramasubramanian also said that lifting a person with disability during air travel or security checkup is inhumane, and held that it should not be done without his or her consent.

"Another aspect we want to mention is about some of the differently-abled person use prosthetic limbs/calipers. Sometimes, they are directed to remove their prosthetic limbs/calipers as a part of the security check.

"In the draft guidelines circulated, it has been mentioned that scanning of prosthetic limbs/calipers though full body scanner but to what extent differently-abled persons with prosthetic limbs/calipers are required to be checked for the purpose of security should be in a manner where, no such person is asked to remove prosthetic limbs/calipers to maintain human dignity while ensuring the requirement of security checks," the bench said.

The apex court was hearing a plea filed by Jeeja Ghosh, suffering from cerebral palsy, who was off-loaded by Spicejet while she was on her way from Kolkata to Goa to attend a conference in 2012.

The top court was apprised that Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) guidelines were revised on July 2, 2021 and now the draft guidelines regarding 'Carriage by Air of Persons with Disability and/or Persons with Reduced Mobility' have been put in public domain in the year 2021.

Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the petitioner, raised multiple objections to the draft guidelines.

The apex court asked the petitioner to submit their objections/suggestions on the draft guidelines to DGCA.

"We leave it open to the petitioners to submit objections/suggestions to the draft guidelines with a hope that the DGCA shall consider such suggestions even if the time limit for submission of the suggestions has come to an end. Such suggestions may be submitted within 30 days from today," the bench in its December 1 order said.

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