Revised Draft Report by Dr G. N. Karna
This Act may be called "The Rights of Dignity, Effective Participation and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2010".
An Act to replace "The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights & Full Participation) Act, 1995" by way of harmonizing and strengthening the existing legislative and policy provisions for persons with disabilities in the implementation of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;
AND WHEREAS the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and the necessity for persons with disabilities to be guaranteed their full enjoyment without discrimination gathered momentum globally;
WHEREAS The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights & Full Participation) Act, 1995 was enacted to give effect to the proclamation on full participation and equality of the persons with disabilities by UN Economic & Social Commission for Asia and Pacific region;
AND WHEREAS the importance of the principles and policy guidelines enshrined in the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons as also the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities was recognized in influencing the promotion, formulation and evaluation of the policies, plans, programmes and actions at the national, regional and international levels to further equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities;
AND WHEREAS the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child served as starting points;
AND WHEREAS the imperativeness of promoting and protecting the human rights of all persons with disabilities, including those who require more intensive support, motivated;
AND WHEREAS subsequent thereto the United Nations General Assembly adopted at its 76th plenary meeting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as also its Optional Protocol on 13th December, 2006 and the same came into force in May 2008 and December 2009 respectively;
AND WHEREAS India has signed the convention on the first day of its opening for signature on the 30th March 2007 and ratified the said Convention (excluding its Optional Protocol) without any reservations on 1st Oct. 2007, which came into force on 3rd May 2008;
AND WHEREAS it has, therefore, become obligatory to harmonize and strengthen the existing provisions of the said Act in discharge of international obligations arising out of such ratification of the Convention.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE PARLIAMENT IN THE SIXTIETH YEAR OF REPUBLIC OF INDIA AS FOLLOWS:-
(i) This Act may be called "The Rights of Dignity, Effective Participation and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2010".
(ii) It extends to the whole of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
(iii) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may by notification decide.
Article 1 (a) The purpose of this Act is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and also to promote respect for their inherent dignity and self- respect.
Article 2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-
(i) "Appropriate Government" means-
(ii) "Autism" means a pervasive developmental disorder marked by extreme unevenness of skill development noticed before the age of 3 years, qualitative impairment in reciprocal social interaction and in patters of communication, and by a restricted stereotyped, repetitive, repertoire of interest and activities as well as accompanying perceptually based learning difficulties, primarily affecting the communication and social abilities of individuals with repetitive and ritualistic behavior;
(iii) "Awareness Raising" means sensitization and understating of diversity in disability among the wider community. It makes the community sensitive to creating inclusive environments, thereby removing stigma linked with disability in order to facilitate effective implementation of the Act. For instance, if architects were to understand inclusion, they will automatically incorporate that into their work. The awareness raising incorporates the concepts and spirit of the Act so as to make the society (including the family, relatives and peer groups) conscious towards the needs, capabilities and contributions of persons with disabilities by way of fostering respect for their rights and dignity; disseminating information for combating stereotypes, prejudices and harmful practices (including those based on sex and age), faced by the persons with disabilities, in all areas of life.
(iv) "Barrier" indicates environmental factors that make up the physical, social and attitudinal environment in which the persons with disabilities lead their lives and which, in interaction with the impairments, may hinder their full and effective participation in the society on an equal basis with others. It encompasses lack of access to products, technology, support and social relationships, natural environment and human made changes, social norms and policies.
(v) "Blindness" refers to a condition where a person suffers from any of the following conditions, namely:-
(vi) "Central Board" means the Central Advisory Board constituted under sub-section (1) of section ...;
(vii) "Central Committee" means the Central Coordination and Monitoring Committee constituted under sub- section (1) of section ...;
(viii) "Cerebral palsy" means a group of non-progressive, but not unchanging disorders of movement and / or posture, due to anomaly of the nervous system.
(ix) "Communication" includes languages, display of text, Braille, tectile communication, large print, accessible multi - media as well as written, audio, plain- language, human- reader and augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication (including accessible information and communication technology).
(x) "Competent authority" means the authority appointed under section ...;
(xi) "Deafblindness" means a condition in which people may suffer from a combination of hearing and visual impairments causing severe communication, developmental, and educational problems that the person cannot be accommodated in or be benefitted from either a programme specifically designed for the deaf or a programme specifically designed for the blind.
Deafblindness may include:
(xii) "Disability" broadly incorporates within its ambit all such individuals who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments, which in interaction with various barriers, may prevent their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others. For the purpose of this Act, "disability" refers to, but not restricted to-
Provided that the Central Government may, by notification, include any other impairment in the definition of disability on the recommendation of an Expert Committee constituted for the purpose with equal representation of NGOs from the specific disability area.
(xiii) "Discrimination on the basis of disability" means any distinction, exclusion or restriction on the basis of disability which has the purpose or effect of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal basis with others, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms in the social, cultural, economic, civil, political or any other field. It includes all forms of discrimination, including denial of reasonable accommodation and the term "non- discrimination" shall be interpreted accordingly;
(xiv) "Disorders of Sexual Development" means abnormalities in the development of the gonads, the genital tracts, the external genitalia and gender-specific behavior.
(xv) "District Committee" means a District- level Committee on Disability constituted under sub- section (1) of Section .........
(xvi) "Dyslexia" means a learning disorder that manifests itself as a difficulty with reading, spelling and in some cases mathematics. In other words, it refers to impairment in the brain's processing of information that results in difficulty reading, spelling, writing, and related language skills.
(xvii) "Establishment" means a corporation, public sector and private sector undertaking, autonomous body established by or under a Central, or State Act, or an authority or a body owned or controlled or aided by the Central or State Government or a local authority or a Government company as defined in section 617 of 'the Companies Act, 1956 and includes Departments and Ministries of a Government;
(xviii) "Fialiarisis" means a manifestation of locomotor disability which affects the lymphatic system drastically and inflicts symptoms of high fever, pain, swelling and numbness.
(xix) "Full and Effective Participation", in the context of persons with disabilities, means the involvement of such individuals in various life activities-such as family, community, self care, relationships, culture, independent living, civil and political life.
(xx) "Fund" means the National Fund for Persons with Disabilities established under Section...
(xxi) "Haemophilia" means a group of hereditary genetic disorders that impair the body's ability to control blood clotting or coagulation, used to stop bleeding when a blood vessel is broken.
(xxii) "Hearing impairment" means sensorineural hearing loss of forty five decibels or more in the better ear in conventional range of frequencies and the binaural loss of forty percent, or Word Recognition Score of forty percent or less-
(xxiii) "Hizras/hermaphrodite" means a person having sexual development disorder.
(xxiv) "Inclusive environment" in relation to education of students with disabilities to study in educational institutions with their per groups without disabilities, on an equitable basis;
(xxv) "Intersexual"- individuals born with the physical sexual organs of both genders, although they may not be fully formed.
(xxvi) "Language" - includes spoken and all other forms of non-spoken languages, including signed languages;
(xxvii) "Learning Disability" means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or do mathematical calculations. The term includes conditions--such as, perceptual handicaps, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia. However, it does not include people who have learning problems which are primarily due to visual, hearing, speech or motor handicaps or mental retardation, emotional disturbance or of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantages.
(xxviii) "Legal capacity" means the capacity in which the person determines whether he/she may make binding amendments to their rights, duties and obligations--such as, getting married or entering into contracts, holding property, making of and/ or benefitting from a will.
(xxix) "Leprosy affected" means any person, who has been affected by or cured of leprosy with the following conditions-
(xxx) "Local authority" means three tier panchayati raj institutions, municipalities and any other local authority established by or under an Act and includes a "Local authority" as defined in clause (31) of Section 3 of the General Clauses Act, 1987;
(xxxi) "Locomotor impairment" means defect in the bones, joints muscles leading to substantial restriction of the movement of the limbs or any form of cerebral palsy; and includes filariasis in its manifestation as a condition.
(xxxii) "Medical authority" means any hospital or institution or team of doctors on mobile duty specified for the purpose of issuing disability certificates under this Act by notification by the appropriate Government;
(xxxiii) "Mental illness" means disorders of the mind that result in partial or complete disturbance in the person's thinking, feeling and behavior which very often results in recurrent or persistent inability or reduced ability to carry out activities of daily living, self care, education, employment and participation in social life. These disorders would include schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder and moderate or severe depression of at least three years duration, with evidence of continuous treatment. It means any mental disorder other than mental retardation;
(xxxiv) "Mental retardation" means a condition of arrested or incomplete development of mind of a person which is specially characterized by impairment of adaptive behavior manifested during the developmental period, which contributes to all levels of intelligence, i.e. cognitive, language, motor and social abilities, abnormality of intelligence;
(xxxv) "Multiple Sclerosis" means a condition of the central nervous system which affects the ability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with each other;
(xxxvi) "Muscular dystrophy" means a group of genetic conditions characterized by progressive weakness and degeneration of the skeletal or voluntary muscles which control movement.
(xxxvii) "Multiple disabilities" means a combination of two or more disabilities as listed at S. No. (i)- (vii) in clause (i) of section-2;
(xxxviii) "Person with severe disability" means a person with 80% or more of one or more disabilities, as certified by a medical authority, and the phrase "Child with severe disability" shall be construed accordingly;
(xxxix) "Person with low vision" means a person with impairment of vision between 6/18 to 6/60 with best correction in the better eye or impairment of field of vision in any one of the following categories:-
(xl) "Poverty alleviation schemes" means schemes and programmes of the Central Government, State Government or a local authority aimed at alleviation of poverty;
(xli) "Public building" means a building, irrespective of ownership, which is used and accessed by the members of public at large;
(xlii) "Reasonmable accommodation" means necessary and appropriate modification and adjustments not imposing a disproportionate or undue burden, where needed in a particular case, to ensure to persons with disabilities the enjoyment or exercise on an equal basis with others of all human rights and fundamental freedoms;
(xliii) "Rehabilitation" implies a process aimed at enabling persons with disabilities to attain and maintain maximum uindependence, full physical, sensory, intellectual, psychological, social and vocational ability, and full inclusion and participation in all aspects of life;
(xliv) "Special Employment Exchange" means any office or place established and maintained by the Government for the collection and furnishing of information, either by keeping of registers or otherwise, respecting-
(xlv) "Speech Impairment" means a communicative disorder where a person is unable to express him/herself comprehensibly, occurring due to causes like aphasia, laryngectomy and neurologically determined congenitally acquired impairment;
(xlvi) "State Board" means the State Advisory Board" constituted under sub- section (1) of Section 13;
(xlvii) "State Committee" means the State Coordination and Monitoring Committee constituted under sub- section (1) of Section 19;
(xlviii) "Thalassemia" is an inherited blood disorder which necessitates repeated blood transfusion due to hemoglobin deficiency and breaking down of red blood cells;
(xlix) "Transexual" means that fundamentally viewing oneself as being of the opposite sex to own physical body. The person could have a male body with a female mind, this is called "Male to Female Transexual" and vice-versa- "Female to Male or F to M". Although its exact causes are yet to be conclusively understood, current medical knowledge suggests "Transexualism" as a birth defect. Transexualism is a natural phenomena and isnot invented or chosen.
(l) "Universal design" means the design of products, environments, programmes, and services to be usable by all people, including persons with disabilities to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design; it shall not exclude assistive devices for particular groups of persons with disabilities where its needed.
Article 3. The major principles enshrined in and guiding the proposed Act are respect for individual autonomy, non- discrimination, accessibility, equality of opportunity, full and effective participation and inclusion in society, and acceptance of disability as a part of human diversity and humanity.
Article 4. This Act shall undertake to ensure and promote the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, as enshrined in the UNCRPD and the Constitution of India, for all persons with disabilities without discrimination of any kind on the basis of disability. Nothing in this Act shall, however, affect any provisions which are more conducive to the realization of the rights of persons with disabilities and which may be contained in the law of a State Party or international law in force for that State.
Note: The words or portions of the sentences underlined are subject to change, keeping in view the sequencing of Articles of the proposed Act.