Heart Ailment Not A ‘Disability’ Covered Under Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act: Supreme Court

first_imgTop StoriesHeart Ailment Not A ‘Disability’ Covered Under Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act: Supreme Court LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK10 Feb 2021 5:29 AMShare This – xThe Supreme Court observed that a heart ailment (Dilated Cardiomyopathy condition) is not covered within the definition of disability in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ActThe bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy observed thus while dismissing an appeal against Patna High Court judgment which upheld the order of a Shipping Corporation…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court observed that a heart ailment (Dilated Cardiomyopathy condition) is not covered within the definition of disability in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ActThe bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and  Hrishikesh Roy observed thus while dismissing an appeal against Patna High Court judgment which upheld the order of a Shipping Corporation of India that rejected a seaman’s Claim for disability compensation. In his appeal challenging this judgment, one of the contentions raised before the Apex Court was that his heart ailment should be understood as a disability under the Disability Act and consequential benefits be accorded to him.To answer this, the bench noted Section 2(i) of the 1996 Act which takes into account visual disability, locomotor disability, mental illness, mental retardation, hearing impairment and leprosy and Section 2(s) of the Act. It observed:A heart ailment is not covered within the definition of disability in the Act and we would hesitate to import words, which the legislature chose not to, in their definition of disability. When the 1995 Act was replaced by the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, “a person with disabilities” was defined under Section 2(s) as a person with long term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairment which prevent his full and effective participation in society. Section 2(zc) defines, “specified disability” as those mentioned in the Schedule to the 2016 Act. In the said Schedule, “physical disability”, “intellectual disability”, “mental behaviour”, are specified. The dilated Cardiomyopathy condition of the appellant is neither a specified disability nor is the same relatable to the broad spectrum of impairments, which hinders his full and effective participation in society. Therefore, we are of the considered opinion that Dilated Cardiomyopathy condition of the appellant does not bring his case within the ambit of either the 1995 Act or of the 2016 Act. The High Court, therefore, was correct in concluding that Dilated Cardiomyopathy condition would not facilitate any benefit to the appellant under Section 47 of the Disability Act.Regarding the contention that the seaman is entitled to100% disability compensation under Clause 21 of the National Maritime Board Agreement Agreement, the court observed that, in this case, no linkage between the on ship duty and the appellant’s medical condition, could be established.”As can be seen from above, 100% compensation is payable to a seaman under Clause 5.9. F (ii) in a situation where a seaman is found medically unfit for sea service, as a result of injury, while in employment. But it is not the case of either side that the appellant had suffered any accidental injury in course of his engagement in the sea vessel. The question then is, whether the term 10 “injury”, should be construed in the manner suggested by the appellant’s counsel as anything which diminishes the health status of a seaman. Such broad interpretation in the context of the specific expression in the agreement would in our view, efface the intent of the agreement between the parties. Merely because of the beneficial objective, the clear expression in the agreement must not be ignored to give another meaning which could not have been the intention or the understanding, of the contracting parties.”The Clause 21 applies to a case of total disability but this is not a case of 100% disablement. To say it another way, the Dilated Cardiomyopathy condition may prevent the man from performing sea service but the same will not be an impediment for him to perform other jobs. With this 13 interpretation, the High Court held that only severance compensation under Clause 25 is payable for the seaman. We see no reason to reach another conclusion on the implication of Clause 21 and Clause 25,for the appellant. In the absence of any connecting link between the job and the medical condition, the disability compensation in our opinion is not merited, the bench said while dismissing the appeal.CASE: NAWAL KISHORE SHARMA vs. UNION OF INDIA [CIVIL APPEAL NO.150 OF 2021]CORAM: Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh RoyCOUNSEL: Sr.Adv V. Chidambresh, Adv Shiv Kumar SuriCITATION:  LL 2021 SC 74Click here to Read/Download JudgmentRead JudgmentSubscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more