LHC strikes down disabled, handicapped, other such words from ordinance

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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday struck down words such as disabled, physically handicapped and mentally retarded from the Disabled Persons (Employment & Rehabilitation) Ordinance 1981.

LHC Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah passed the orders while allowing a petition filed by Asfandyar Khan Tareen challenging the use of the said words in the ordinance.

During the hearing, the petitioner’s counsel argued that the ordinance used words including disabled, physically handicapped and mentally retarded for special persons about 45 times. The use of such words were not only derogatory but also offensive and against the right of dignity, he added.

To a court query, the counsel explained that the ordinance provided definition of persons with disabilities and there was no need to mark them as disabled. He pleaded with the court to strike down these words from the ordinance.

Federal and provincial law officers did not oppose the petition but requested for amendment instead of striking down the words.

However, the court after hearing arguments of parties struck down the words from the ordinance.