CJI pitches for human rights of the disabled
When hopes and aspirations are “crucified”, human rights issues spring up, Chief Justice Dipak Misra on Thursday said, while asserting that the country should lay emphasis on rights of the disabled and the underprivileged.
Delivering a speech at the 25th Foundation Day of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the CJI, quoted from ancient Indian texts, American history and old court cases to underline the message of equality and justice.
He cited the instance of Ashtavakra, an ancient Vedic sage, who suffered from physical handicap, and made a reference to an episode connected with King Janak to emphasise the point.
“Ashtavakra once went to the kingdom of Janak. And, when the king’s procession was passing, a poor person was thrown out of footpath... When the king sent his prime minister to ask why he (sage) wouldn’t come to his palace, he replied that — ‘O king, you have violated the fundamental principles of the traffic rules,’” he said.
Quoting the sage’s reply in Sanskrit, the CJI said, “The sage told the king — ‘You know who has the first right over the road. The first right is that of the blind, second of the deaf, then men who carry load, fourth of women, and then comes the king’.”
“I hope I am able to communicate what the human rights order should be,” the 45th Chief Justice of India said.