The Delhi High Court has ordered the Delhi government to make the necessary arrangements for visually challenged litigants to receive court papers in Braille script.
In response to a request for anticipatory bail made by a visually impaired rape suspect, Justice Anoop Kumar Mendiratta stated that the right to access to justice includes the right to obtain papers in the language and manner preferred by the parties involved.
He ordered that court records be delivered in Braille writing to both the accused and the prosecutrix, both of whom are visually impaired.
The judge pointed out that the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act of 2016 requires the government to ensure that all public documents are in accessible formats and to provide necessary facilities and equipment to facilitate the recording of testimonies, arguments, or opinions given by people with disabilities in their preferred language and mode of communication.
The court remarked that in this case, both the petitioner and the prosecutrix, who are both charged in the rape case, sought effective enforcement of their rights and are "entitled to be thoroughly informed with the proceedings of the lawsuit."
"The State is directed to make appropriate arrangements and provide the prosecutrix as well as the petitioner with copies of the documents to which they are legally entitled in their preferred language and mode of communication, i.e. Braille script, to ensure that they can effectively pursue and protect their legal rights," it said.
"The state government is also required to make necessary arrangements for distributing court documents in a legible language to the visually impaired in all such cases wherever the circumstances so warrant," the court stated.
The prosecutrix in the rape case claims that the accused began a physical contact with her on the promise of marriage solemnization.
The court granted the accused pre-arrest bail on a personal bond of 25,000 with one surety of the same amount, observing that he is differently-abled and that his custodial questioning or any recovery is no longer required.
At that point, the prosecutrix requested that a copy of the order be sent to her in Braille script.