SC bans use of offensive words for disabled persons at official level
The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) has directed the federal government and the provinces to discontinue using “disabled,” “physically handicapped” and “mentally retarded” words for persons with different abilities.
The apex court, in its detailed judgement released on Saturday, has observed that these words deeply bruise and affect the dignity of persons with different abilities.
The court (SC) has directed the federal and provincial governments to discontinue the use of these words in official correspondence, directives, notifications and circulars and use either “persons with disabilities” or “persons with different abilities”.
The petitioner had maintained that he had applied for the post of senior elementary school educator (Arabic) following an advertisement put out by the education department, local government, Multan, but he was not appointed on the disability quota.
“Pakistan’s Constitution, as a whole, does not distinguish between a person with or without disabilities. It recognises inherent dignity of a human being; equal and inalienable rights of all the people as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace,” the court said.
“Every person is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind. It, therefore, applies equally to persons with disabilities, guaranteeing them the full enjoyment of their fundamental rights without discrimination,” read a 12-page verdict.