In a landmark ruling passed on Tuesday, the Lahore High Court (LHC) banned the usage of andha (blind), goonga (mute), behra (deaf) and langra (lame) to describe differently-abled persons in official matters and directed the government to make the necessary changes in this regard to the The Disabled Persons (Employment and Rehabilitation) Ordinance of 1981.
In the ruling, LHC Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah also directed that disabled persons must now be referred to as “special persons”.
When referring to persons who are unable to see, the term “visually impaired” must be used, the ruling said.
The case had been taken up by the LHC after Barrister Asfand Khan Tareen filed a petition in this regard, naming the Punjab government, the federal government and the law ministry as respondents.
The Social Welfare Department’s lawyer, Tariq Ismail, who represented the state, assured the court that in light of the verdict, The Disabled Persons (Employment and Rehabilitation) Ordinance, 1981 will be amended to expunge the banned terms.