India

Parliament passes Disabilities Bill

A view of Parliament House in New Delhi on the last day of the winter session.

A view of Parliament House in New Delhi on the last day of the winter session.

The Lok Sabha, on Friday, passed the Disabilities Bill stipulating a jail term of up to two years and a maximum fine of Rs. 5 lakh for discriminating against differently-abled persons.

Despite the logjam in the Parliament, the bill was passed within two hours after a brief debate on the last day of the winter session.

Replying to the debate, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot announced that a scheme of ' a universal identity card for the disabled' is on the anvil and an agency has already been finalised to issue them. The proposed card would also be linked to the Aadhar card to help the disabled all over the country in a seamless fashion, he said. He said the government has joined hands with German and British firms for making available state-of-the-art limbs for the disabled wherever possible.

UN Convention

Members from both sides supported the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2016 but suggested certain changes to improve the measure. The bill had been originally moved in 2014 in Rajya Sabha by then Union Minister Mallikarjun Kharge.

The bill, which aims at securing and enhancing the rights and entitlements of disabled persons, also gives effect to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and related matters.

It provides for imprisonment of at least six months up to two years, along with a fine ranging between Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 5 lakh for discriminating against differently-abled persons. The Minister said the bill has increased the number of categories of disabled persons to 21. In the bill, disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept and the types of disabilities have been increased from existing seven to 21. The Centre will have the power to add more types of disabilities to the list.

The types of disabilities now include mental illness, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, chronic neurological conditions.


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Printable version | Aug 13, 2022 9:36:47 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national//article60635678.ece