Friday, January 19, 2024

"Rustom Merwanji Alpaiwalla Memorial Award 2024" to our Executive Director, Shri T. D. Dhariyal

New Delhi, 19 January 2024

Photo of Barrister Rustom Merwani Alpaiwalla
Barrister Late Rustom Merwani Alpaiwalla
We are extremely happy and proud to share that our Executive Director, Shri Thakur Datt Dhariyal was conferred with the prestigious "Rustom Merwanji Alpaiwalla Memorial Award 2024" by the National Association for the Blind, India, during a colourful event held in Mumbai on 19th January 2024 to celebrate the 73rd Foundation Day of National Association for the Blind, India (NAB, India).

Shri Dhariyal was conferred this honour under the category "Professional Worker" for his relentless services for the empowerment of Persons with visual dissabilities. See the CITATION towards the end of this spost.

Barrister Rustom Merwani Alpaiwalla in whose memory these awards were instituted was the founder President of the National Association for the Blind, India formed  in 1952 in Bombay. The Awards were instituted by NAB, India in 1972.

Mr. TD Dhariyal receiving the
Rustom Merwani Alpaiwalla Award 2024
NAB, India initiated an annual felicitation ceremony to recognize and appreciate the unsungheroes who contributed their time, money, skills and expertise in improving the quality of life and shaping the future of people with vision loss. This felicitation ceremony set off the first edition of the Rustom Merwanji Alpaiwalla Memorial Awards in 1973 - on NAB, India's Foundation Day - January 19. Over the years the Association instituted some more Awards mostly for visually challenged achievers who excelled in their professions - The Neelum KhurshedKanga Awards for visually challenged women and the Late Mrs. P. D. Khambatta Awards.

We congratulate Mr. TD Dhariyal on this recognition and honour for his relentlesss services as a professional in this space.


Wednesday, January 17, 2024

A Court for All: Transforming Accessibility in India's Supreme Court [Report Included]

Dear Colleagues,

In a significant stride towards inclusivity, the Supreme Court of India has embarked on a journey to address accessibility issues for persons with disabilities, women, and senior citizens. This monumental effort was underscored by the release of the report titled “A Court for All: Paving the Way for Accessibility in the Supreme Court for Persons with Disabilities, Women and Senior Citizens” in October 2023, by the Supreme Court Committee on Accessibility.

The report serves as a mirror reflecting the stark realities faced by marginalized groups within the judicial system. For too long, individuals with disabilities, pregnant women, and senior citizens have encountered formidable barriers hindering their access to justice. These barriers, ranging from physical infrastructure inadequacies to functional service limitations, have not only impeded their physical access but also undermined their dignity and rights within the corridors of justice.

Physical accessibility challenges highlighted in the report include the absence of wheelchair-friendly amenities, unclear signage, inadequate tactile flooring, and insufficient designated seating in courtrooms and waiting areas. These deficiencies not only hinder mobility but also symbolize the exclusionary nature of the justice system.

Moreover, the report sheds light on functional service challenges, such as the lack of sign language interpreters, inadequate technology for the visually impaired, and inaccessible online resources. These issues not only inconvenience but also perpetuate systemic discrimination against marginalized groups.

However, the report goes beyond mere identification of problems; it offers pragmatic recommendations for improvement. From introducing accessible route maps and refurbishing key facilities to enhancing online platforms and ensuring the availability of sign language interpreters, the recommendations pave the way for a more inclusive judicial system.

Nevertheless, while the report provides a comprehensive overview of accessibility issues, there are areas where it could further elaborate. Specific details regarding financing or budget allocations for the recommended changes, as well as detailed implementation plans with monitoring mechanisms, are notable omissions that warrant attention.

It is pertinent to share that the Committee had solicited feedback from individuals with disabilities and disability rights experts through questionnaires, to arrive at recommendations that meet the diverse needs of stakeholders.

Furthermore, the Committee's focus on understanding the unique challenges faced by women, particularly during pregnancy, and senior citizens also reflected a commitment to inclusivity at every level of the judicial process. Additionally, attention had been given to the specific needs outlined in the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017, highlighting the importance of accommodating individuals with diverse health conditions.

The diverse composition of the Committee, comprising experts from various fields, underscores the collaborative effort to drive meaningful change. With inputs from accessibility experts, legal professionals, and representatives from the Supreme Court Bar Association, the Committee has leveraged a wealth of expertise to develop comprehensive recommendations.

As the Supreme Court endeavors to operationalize these recommendations, it is imperative to recognize that ensuring accessibility is an ongoing commitment. Robust monitoring mechanisms and timely reviews are essential to ensure that the recommendations translate into tangible improvements within the prescribed timelines.

In essence, “A Court for All” is not just a report; it is a testament to the Supreme Court's commitment to upholding the principles of equality and justice for all. As we embark on this journey towards inclusivity, let us heed the call to action articulated in the report and work collectively towards building a more accessible and equitable future for India.

Read the report- A Court for All, here:

Friday, January 12, 2024

CABE participated in International Purple Fest 2024 and contributed to Convention on Accessibility Standards and Law Clinic- Access to Justice

Panaji, Goa,  Dated 12 January 2024

CABE Foundation contributed to the International PurpleFest 2024 in two of the important events:

(a) Purple Convention on Accessibility Standard Session. 
The event was organized by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), titled "Accessible and Inclusive Digital India - Putting IS-17802 Standard into action" on Friday January 12th, 2024.

Mr. Vashishth speaking at the Convention.
Mr.Vashishth, speaking at the convention
Our Director, Subhash Chandra Vashishth represented the Foundation at the Fest. He spoke on the legal framework of IS 17802 Accessibility of ICT Products and Services, case laws and physical access to ICT products and services.
Participants at the convention

IS-17802, is an Indian Standard issued by the Bureau of Indian Standards, focuses on accessibility for ICT products and services. Recently notified for compliance under Rule 15 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules, this standard is a significant step toward creating an inclusive digital environment in India.  Mr. Vashishth has also been a member of the BIS Technical Committee that produced this standard and he has been actively championing its adoption among relevant stakeholders. 

Let's join forces to boost awareness among stakeholders to enhance uptake of IS-17802. Together, we can make a substantial impact on ensuring that products and services are accessible to persons with disabilities.

Convention schedule:

(b) Master Classes: Law Clinic- Access to Justice & Redressals

Collage of images from the Law Clinic-Access to Justice
Collage of Pictures of Law Clinic- Access to Justice
This event was curated by Rising Flame focusing on empowerment and justice. In this law clinic with Ms. Kanchan Pamnani and Mr. Subhash Chandra Vashishth,  explored disability and the experiences of discrimination. How do we navigate redressal and what role can the law play? The session also focussed on the law and access to justice through the story of Purple Ambassador Sonali who's legal struggle reminded us about the collective work for justice and a world free of violence.

Thank you Purple Fest Goa for providing this platform for promoting larger disability inclusion through awareness raising on standards and way ahead for its adoption!

Empowering the Legal Fraternity: Insights from the Delhi Judicial Academy's Core Competence Conference

New Delhi,  12 Jan 2024

The Delhi Judicial Academy (DJA) recently organized a groundbreaking event, the 'Core Competence Conference for Knowledge, Skill & Perspective Development,' specifically tailored for Metropolitan Magistrates (N.I. Act). Held on January 12, 2024, this conference aimed at enhancing the capabilities of judicial officials and fostering a deeper understanding of crucial legal aspects.

Key Speakers and Topics:

Mr. TD Dhariyal seen on the stage with Dr. Aditi Chaudhary, Director DJA along with other Mr. Rakesh Kumar Singh, ADJ. The background has slide deck detailing the session.
Sh. TD Dhariyal, Dr. Aditi Chaudhary (centre),
Sh. Rakesh Kumar Singh & leadership of DJA
The highlight of the event was the address by Shri TD Dhariyal, the Executive Director of CABE Foundation, who delved into the significant subject of  "Protecting Constitutional & Legal Rights." His focus was on ensuring Access to Justice for Individuals with Disabilities, shedding light on both visible and invisible disabilities, court infrastructure, challenges, and viable solutions. Mr. Rakesh Kumar Singh, Additional District Judge (ADJ), North-West, Rohini, added valuable insights by discussing procedural issues, including territorial jurisdiction, limitation, complaints involving juristic persons, serving the substance of accusations, conversion of summary trials to summons, and digital recording of evidence.

Wide Participation and Impact:

With over 150 judicial officials in attendance, the conference provided a platform for an extensive exchange of ideas and knowledge. The insights shared by the speakers are expected to have a lasting impact on the judicial officers undergoing training, enabling them to better address the needs of persons with disabilities.

Enhancing Accessibility:

A core theme of the conference was the commitment to making court processes more disabled-friendly and accessible. The knowledge imparted during the event is anticipated to empower judicial professionals to ensure reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities, be it as a litigant, accused, witness, or legal professional on any side of the bar.


By addressing crucial issues surrounding access to justice for persons with disabilities, the 'Core Competence Conference' has taken a significant step towards creating a more inclusive and equitable legal system. As judicial officers apply these insights in their respective roles, we can hope for positive changes that enhance the overall effectiveness of our legal processes.