Human Rights Court Throws Out Case Against Disabled Federation


An Accra Human Rights court has dismissed the conditional appearance suit filed against the Disabled Federation by the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).Disable people

The Disabled Federation sued the GCCA, Antrak Air, Starbow and Africa World Airlines last year over their refusal to airlift a physically challenged person.
The Federation argued that the rights of persons living with disability would be grossly violated if domestic airlines denied them the opportunity to patronise their services.

Meanwhile, the GCAA has explained that it cannot be blamed for the incident.
In view of the above claims, the GCAA, therefore, filed a suit to counter the claims by the disabled federation.
However, the court, presided by Justice Kofi Essel Mensah, dismissed the suit on Friday, paving way for the hearing of the substantive matter.

Earlier in court, the GCAA, led by Mrs Joyce Thompson, counsel for the first defendant, said it wanted the writ to be set aside on the grounds that it did not reasonably disclose any course of action.

Referring to the claims, Mrs Thomson said the Federation was seeking for a declaration to the effect that the GCAA had failed in its duties under the GCAA Act 678 and Section 28(1) of the Persons with Disability Act 2006 (Act 715) to control airlines and regulate local aviation industry in Ghana and ensure that local airlines provide accessible services and facilities.

The GCAA is a regulator of the aviation industry and its Act mandates it to regulate a safe and secure aviation, ensure air transport is carried out in a safe and secured manner through its licensing and certification function, she said.

She said the GCAA regulated but did not provide access to aircrafts for persons with reduced mobility, explaining that they were not responsible for the management of aircrafts in Ghana.

?By law the GCAA?s focus should be on air space management and safety regulations,? she added.

The GCAA?s duty is to ensure safety of passengers, crew, property on board and air worthiness of the aircraft.

Dr Kweku Nsiah, Counsel for the plaintiff, said they vehemently opposed the application on the grounds of incompetence.

He said their application, in pursuant to their entry of conditional appearance filed on December 17, 2014, was another reason for the opposition.

Dr Nsiah said the GCAA was served with the writ on the said date and they had 14 days to move the court to set aside the writ, but their present application was filed on January 12 and, therefore, they were out of time.

Dr Nsiah said the conditional appearance had matured into an unconditional appearance and they could not ask the court to reverse the situation.

The substantive case was later adjourned to April 14.

The Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled has filed a motion on notice, praying the Human Rights Division of the High Court to restrain three local airlines from discriminating against persons with disability by way of refusing to sell flight tickets to them.

It is also seeking an interlocutory injunction against the respondents not to deny such persons who desire to travel on their aircraft services, pending the determination of a substantive suit.

The respondents are Antrak Air, Africa World Travel and Starbow Air.

Joined to the action is the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, who the applicant wish the court would restrain from overlooking, and or refusing to ensure that the other respondents comply with Section 28 (1) of the Persons with Disability Act, 2006 (Act 715).

Section 28 (1) of Act 715 states that: ?The Civil Aviation Authority and any other authority responsible for the management of a port shall provide facilities that will aid the movement of a person with disability at the port.?

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