Supreme Court slams Delhi Metro travel provisions for leprosy patients

The Supreme Court has strongly criticized the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for allowing leprosy patients to travel in the Metro only if they carried a medical certificate stating the disease was non-contagious.

The Supreme Court said that the DMRC’s stand was unacceptable as it is now known that leprosy is completely curable given the advances in medical science.

The Supreme Court bench said that the condition imposed by the DMRC is unfair. The order said,

The Centre and states must remove the offensive legal provision discriminating against leprosy patients. The condition imposed by DMRC is unacceptable - Supreme Court of India

The court’s observation came on a petition filed by the NGO Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy. The petition said that despite leprosy being completely curable, there are as many as 119 outdated laws, at the central and state level, that sanction isolation of those with leprosy.

The NGO has sought that these 119 laws be set aside for good.

Though the Parliament repealed the Lepers Act, 1898, in 2016, it has not acted on the Law Commission’s recommendations to integrate them with society, says the petition.

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