Discriminatory clause in Khadi Board Act to be amended

December 05, 2022 06:17 pm | Updated 06:17 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

An outdated clause in the Kerala Khadi and Village Industries Board Act, 1957 which discriminates against people with leprosy and hearing/speech impairment is up for revision.

A bill seeking its amendment was introduced in the State Assembly on Monday and referred to the subject committee.

The Kerala Khadi and Village Industries Board (Amendment) Bill, 2022, seeks to amend a clause in the 1957 Act which says that an individual can be disqualified from being appointed or continuing as a board member if he ‘‘is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court, a deaf-mute or a leper.’‘

The bill recommends the omission of the portion ‘‘a deaf-mute or a leper” from clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 6 of the Act.

In 2018, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre and State governments to inform it of the steps taken to repeal provisions which treat leprosy as a ‘‘stigmatic disability.’‘

Based on the above order, and a subsequent Law Reforms Commission proposal, the State government decided to remove the ‘‘discriminations and disqualifications.’‘

Three other bills - the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (Amendment) Bill, 2022, the Kerala High Court Services (Determination of Retirement Age) Amendment Bill, 2022, and the Kerala Cashew Factories (Acquisition) Amendment Bill, 2022 - also were introduced in the House on Monday and referred to the subject committee.

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