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Court overturns ban on differently abled-climbers

  • Mt Everest climbing regulations
- Post Report

Jun 28, 2018-Supreme Court on Wednesday quashed government’s decision to ban double amputees and blind persons from attempting to climb mountains including Mount Everest.

A constitutional bench of five justices led by Chief Justice Deepak Raj Joshee issued a verdict to amend the clause of Nepal’s Mountaineering Expedition Regulation that prohibits double amputees, persons without arms and legs, and blind persons from attempting to climb Everest.

In December last year, the Cabinet approved the amendment to the Mountaineering Expedition Regulation to bar double amputees and blind persons as proposed by the Department of Tourism.

Subsequently, in February, Madhav Prasad Chamlagain, who is the central member of the Federation of Nepali Journalists, filed a writ challenging the government’s move.

In March, a constitutional bench of five justices led by Chief Justice Gopal Prasad Parajuli issued an interim order not to implement the amended clause.

“The apex court has enshrined the rights of disabled community,” Chamlagain said. “We have an equal right to do whatever normal people can do. The Nepal’s Constitution has guaranteed us the rights,” he said, adding that the government’s decision to ban differently abled people to climb mountain was taken in haste.   

The Disability Rights Act passed by the Nepal’s Legislature-Parliament in August 2017 prohibits all kinds of discrimination on the basis of disability with the provision of action and punishment against such practices.

US climber Erik Weihenmayer became the first blind person to conquer Everest on May 25, 2001. Mark Joseph Inglis of New Zealand is the first double leg amputee to summit the world’s tallest peak. He accomplished the feat on May 15, 2006 after 40 days of climbing.

A Nepali-born Canadian, Sudarshan Gautam, is the first double arm amputee to climb the world’s highest mountain. He did it on May 20, 2013.

This May, 70-year-old Chinese climber Xia Boyu, who lost both legs to frostbite on Everest four decades ago, reached the summit of the world’s highest peak, following the Supreme Court’s interim order not to ban double amputee climbers.

Published: 28-06-2018 08:20

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