SC bans the use of words ‘physically handicapped’ and ‘disabled’

Islamabad, 16th August: Supreme Court of Pakistan has banned the use of words like ‘mentally retarded’, ‘disabled’, and ‘physically handicapped’.

According to Baaghi TV, the federal and provincial governments have been directed to discontinue using the words ‘disabled’, ‘physically handicapped’ and ‘mentally retarded’ while referring to people with disabilities.

Using these words ‘deeply bruise and offend human dignity of persons with different abilities,’ the court said in a verdict released on Saturday.

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The governments have been told to use either ‘persons with disabilities’ or ‘persons with different abilities’.

Justice Mansoor Ali Shah authored the 12-page order while adjudicating a case concerning the job quota of persons with disabilities (PWDs).

A three-member bench comprising Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin heard the appeal.

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The petitioner had approached the apex court against the Lahore High Court (LHC) verdict. He had filed the case at the LHC after he was denied the job at an elementary school in Multan and challenged the allocation of jobs for the disabled.

The court said that the allocation of 2% disability quota based on the advertised posts as compared to the sanctioned posts is adverse to the interest of the persons with disabilities as 2% disability quota can only be actualized if there is a minimum of 50 posts advertised to secure one post for the PWDs.

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