The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill 2014 is passed at Rajya Sabha
Congratulations, after a long time we are hearing some good news. According to Indian Express Rajya Sabha on Wednesday passed The Right of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014 with amendments. The bill will now go back to Lok Sabha and once cleared, will replace the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995. The legislation, which has been pending in Rajya Sabha since 2014, was drafted on the basis of the recommendations of the Sudha Kaul Committee, under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. According to the 2011 Census, the number of disabled in India stands at 2.68 crore, or 2.21 per cent of the population. The Bill is more likely to make a larger number of people eligible for rights and entitlements by reason of their disability since it recognises more disablities as compared to the 1995 Act. Apart from this, the Bill also complies with the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
- The Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 identifies 7 disabilities which include blindness, low vision, leprosy-cured, hearing impairment, locomotor disability, mental retardation and mental illness.
- The 2014 Bill, which was introduced right before UPA’s term ended, had added 19 more conditions to enlarge the definition of disability. The 2014 Bill included cerebral palsy, haemophilia, multiple sclerosis, and autism among others. The 2014 Bill had also allowed the central government to add more.
- The Bill makes a larger number of people eligible for rights on the grounds of their disability. The rights include reservations in government jobs and welfare schemed among others.
- The revision to the Disability Bill recognises acid attacks and Parkinson’s disease as disabilities.
- The amendments to the Disability Bill also make a particular mention of the requirements of women and children with disabilities. It also makes sure that the people with disabilities are provided with barrier-free access in buildings, transport systems and all kinds of public infrastructure.
- The 2014 Bill made infringement of the any provision of the Bill punishable with a jail term of up to 6 months, and/or a fine of Rs 10,000. The anticipated Bill has proposed to do away with the jail term.
- Also, the Bill is expected to eliminate any kind of discrimination against people with disabilities. It defines discrimination as “any distinction, exclusion, restriction on the basis of disability damaging the exercise on an equal basis of rights in the political, social, cultural, civil or any other field.”
— With inputs from india.com