Visually impaired Lawyer Suraj Singh has been appointed as the Government Advocate in the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The appointment came after the lawyer sat on a protest outside the high court demanding sound implementation of disability laws in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir by the administration.
Suraj Singh who hails from Jammu has been practising as a lawyer in Jammu despite his disabilities in vision. Singh’s appointment was passed in order by Anchal Sethi, secretary to the government. Suraj Singh’s appointment as the Government Lawyer will be for a period of one year and could be extended subjected to satisfactory performance in the court.
The press release issued by additional secretary Ashish Gupta said, “Government has taken a significant step which will go a long way in providing benefits to the specially-abled persons by upholding their dignity and removing discrimination by appointing Suraj Singh, a visually impaired Advocate as Government Advocate for defending Government cases before the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir at Jammu. There has been, since long, a persistent demand of specially-abled persons to give them due representation in Government assignments.”
It was Singh himself who was sitting on a prolonged Dharna outside the High Court in Jammu seeking enforcement of the rights recognised under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act of 2016. His plea was acknowledged by the Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court when he demanded due representation for himself regarding his appointment as a Government Advocate concerning the Disabilities Act.
Who is Advocate Suraj Singh?
Suraj Singh has carved a niche for himself as an advocate, despite all odds while practising as a visually impaired lawyer. He has been active since 2011, practising as the only 100% visually impaired lawyer in the High Court in Jammu. Singh completed his education in Braille, a tactile writing system used by people who are visually impaired. Suraj Singh, in an interview, proudly claims that his visual disability has never come in the way hampering his practice so far.
Beyond his restricted vision, Singh has high aspirations of being part of the power centre as a politician. “I pursued my passion for law while I also want to see myself becoming a minister one day,” says Advocate Singh. He recounts an incident when he was trapped inside a manhole after falling into it by a mistaken step, which prompted him to take issues of people with disabilities seriously. At this juncture, while Singh paved a way for himself by banking upon his other active senses, he highlighted with a sense of gratitude, the role played by his family and close friends in supporting him in his day to day chores.