Citing severe procedural and structural lapses in the drafting of the “Protection of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill” - a new legislation for persons with disabilities-- Dr. G. N. Karna, president of Society for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies and JNU's expert on disability studies, has resigned from the drafting committee under the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
In an open letter to the chairman and members of the committee, Dr. Karna came down strongly against the “reduction in reservations in government jobs for the orthopedically disabled from one per cent to half per cent, distorting legislative framework by arbitrarily intruding into the jurisdiction of the National Commission for Women, holding biased views regarding different categories of disabled persons and provision of vague regulatory and monitoring mechanisms” for redress of grievances.
Dr. Karna said all these aberrations had taken place as the assignment for drafting the legislation was outsourced by the committee to a Hyderabad-based legal consultant instead of a body of legal experts.
He charged that the proposal to hire a legal consultant was taken without proper deliberation.
He said that as a wheelchair user, expert in disability studies and disability rights activist, he was crestfallen while reading the final report of the committee which, according to him, had tried to dilute the disability rights movement by disempowering persons with disabilities.