HC orders Maharashtra govt to prioritize wheelchair-friendly facilities in govt buildings


The Bombay High Court has given the Maharashtra government eight weeks to determine whether all government buildings are equipped with wheelchair-friendly toilets and washroom facilities for orthopaedically disabled employees and visitors. It has instructed the government to take immediate steps to upgrade these facilities as needed.
Additionally, the High Court has directed its Registry to develop a proposal for converting one of the washrooms at its principal seat in Mumbai into a wheelchair-accessible facility for orthopaedically disabled individuals. This proposal will be submitted to the appropriate committee for consideration.
The decision was reached in response to a plea by an organization of disabled government employees, which highlighted the absence of wheelchair-friendly toilets or washrooms in their offices. The issue was particularly acute in the High Court building, which lacked a single toilet or washroom suitable for such individuals.
The court acknowledged the genuine nature of the problem raised by the petitioner and urged the administration to address it promptly. A division bench comprising Sunil B Shukre and Justice Firdosh P Pooniwalla presided over the case, represented by advocate Uday Warunjikar.
In June, the High Court had already recognized the challenges faced by orthopaedically disabled individuals and suggested providing the necessary infrastructure, equipment, and facilities for them. The court emphasized that both the state government and municipal corporations must make appropriate decisions to allocate funds for wheelchair-friendly toilets.