Constitute expert panel to increase aid to visually impaired, govt told

Recording the submissions, the bench observed that the court was not asking anything for the affluent lifestyle of the physically challenged people but only wanted to ensure that their basic necessities are fulfilled.
Constitute expert panel to increase aid to visually impaired, govt told
Madras High CourtFile photo

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Thursday asked the State government to constitute an expert committee to explore the possibilities to increase the monthly maintenance assistance to the visually impaired people.

The first bench comprising Chief Justice MN Bhandari and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy was hearing a petition filed by Nethrodaya, an NGO, which sought for a direction to the government to increase the monthly allowance provided to the visually impaired.

The government submitted that it has classified 5 out of 21 types of physically challenged categories as people who could not work and earn.

“Therefore, the government is providing monthly maintenance of Rs 2,000 to people who are not in a position to earn. The physically challenged people who are in a position to go to work are paid Rs 1,000 per month,” it noted.

Recording the submissions, the bench observed that the court was not asking anything for the affluent lifestyle of the physically challenged people but only wanted to ensure that their basic necessities are fulfilled.

“The government shall form a committee to explore the feasibility to increase the maintenance amount for the visually impaired people who are receiving Rs 1,000 per month now,” the bench said.

Earlier, the bench had summoned the Social Welfare Department Secretary to appear in connection with this petition.

However, on Thursday, the bench gave exemption from physical appearance, imposing a condition that he should depose whenever the court needs his assistance.

The matter was posted to June 8 for further hearing.

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