Jeeja Ghosh hails SC's verdict on SpiceJet as 'victory of disabled community'

Jeeja Ghosh hails SC

Submitted by alvin on Thu, 2016-05-12 21:11 New Delhi: Hailing the Supreme Court's verdict on the SpiceJet, cerebral palsy patient Jeeja Ghosh on Thursday said it was the victory of the disabled community. "I boarded the flight. They didn't give any reason to de-board me. We filed the case in this regard. I am really excited not because it is my victory, but it is the victory for all the disabled community. Everyone supported me. I will never board Spicejet again. I fly nearly every month, but I have never faced problems to this extent," Ghosh told ANI. The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered SpiceJet to pay Rs. 10 lakh as damages to Ghosh, who was forcibly offloaded four years ago in 2012. The apex court said that it would like to conclude the judgment by observing that to most disabled persons, the society they live in is a closed door, which has been locked and the key to which has been thrown away by the others. It further stated that the apathy towards problems of the people with disabilities is so pervasive that even number of disabled persons in the country is not well documented. The Supreme Court in its judgment observed that it was the common experience of several persons with disabilities that they were unable to lead a full life due to societal barriers and discrimination faced by them in employment, access to public spaces, transportation etc. The apex court also said that the persons with disability are most neglected lot, not only in the society but also in the family. "More often they are an object of pity. There are hardly any meaningful attempts to assimilate them in the mainstream of the nation's life. The apathy towards their problems is so pervasive that even the number of disabled persons existing in the country is not well documented," the court observed. The Supreme Court further stated that the SpiceJet acted in a callous manner and in the process violated DGCA's rules of 'Carriage by Air of Persons with Disability'. Ghosh was invited to an International Conference, North South Dialogue IV, in Goa, from February 19-23, 2012, hosted by ADAPT. The conference was intended to put a special focus on people with disabilities and their families, countries in the global South facing huge systemic and institutional barriers, and the tools for change that would make a difference in their lives in these countries. Additionally, Ghosh was invited as one of the 15 international individuals to review an Indo-German project which was being show-cased at the conference. ADAPT purchased return plane tickets for Ghosh, including a seat on flight SG 803, operated bySpiceJet Ltd. scheduled to fly from Kolkata to Goa in the morning of February 19, 2012. The conference was to begin in the afternoon. After being seated on the flight, Ghosh was approached by the members of the flight crew who requested to see her boarding pass, which she gave them. They proceeded to order her off the plane. Despite her tearful protestations and informing them that she needed to reach Goa for the conference, they insisted that she be de-boarded. After returning to the airport and arguing with airlines officials, she later discovered that the Captain had insisted that she be removed due to her disability. (ANI)