Mumbai: The Bombay High Court Wednesday expressed dissatisfaction over the fact that only 29 out of 6,576 disabled government employees, have been provided with assistive devices including computer programs for visually impaired and hearing aid among others for increasing their efficiency, since November last year.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice A V Mohta was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations seeking effective implementation of the Persons with Disabilities Act.
In November 2012, the state had told the court that 1,641 employees were provided with the devices.
However, a progress report submitted in February this year by the Chief Secretary stating that from November last only 29 persons have been supplied with assistive devices bringing the figure to 1,670.
Assistant government pleader, G W Mattos, submitted that Chief Secretary, Jayant Banthia, had issued a circular to all the principal secretaries and secretaries of the various departments directing that the devices should be provided to all the employees who have applied for it failing which disciplinary action would be initiated against the officers concerned.
Mattos further submitted that there were 18,561 disabled employees with the state government and 10,316 out of them have not applied for it.
Out of 8,246 employees who had requested for devices, 4,895 had opted for adaptions (side car) for their scooters which prompted the court to remark that it appears the employees were more interested in their convenience to reach their offices rather improving their efficiency in office.
The state has now informed the court that it would conduct workshops and seminars for the 10,316 disabled employees to motivate them to opt for the assistive devices.
The court has adjourned the hearing till April 10 for state to get back with a progress report.