New Law Working Draft

Working Draft of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2010


Prepared by
Centre for Disability Studies
NALSAR University of Law
Hyderabad, India


 

Explanatory note

The Centre for Disability Studies (CDS) has put together a working draft of the New Law. It is a working draft, which means that it is a draft on which work can still happen and will still happen. Our reason for making the statement right at the beginning of the document is to highlight the deliberative nature of this draft. This working draft has been put together so that the Committee, the Disability sector, the larger civil society and the duty bearers can through a process of dialogue and deliberation arrive at a draft which can be accepted by all. This process of reaching agreement would necessarily mean that there would have to be a give and take between all the players in the process. In order to facilitate that dialogue and to enable all concerned to work with it, this draft which has been made by drawing upon the deliberations and recommendations of the sub group and the full committee; the recommendations from the sector; suggestions of subject experts and the research of the Centre on appropriate jurisprudence in this country and other parts of the world. Whilst every effort has been made to study the various representations made to the Committee, evidently all the recommendations do not find a place in the working draft. The two most common reasons for this omission are that: the recommendations are constitutionally impermissible; or are better incorporated as rule, regulation, scheme or programme.

The mandate of the Committee to the Consultant was to put together a comprehensive legislation which covers all laws of all persons with disabilities. We have in the limited time at our disposal tried to execute this mandate in letter and spirit. However sincerity of purpose is not in itself a guarantee that the end product would meet the expectations of all. We do however hope there is enough in the draft to allow for the engagement of all that is everyone can work with it.

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2010

Statement of Objects and Reasons

India has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) and has undertaken the obligation to ensure and promote the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all Persons with Disabilities without discrimination of any kind on the basis of disability. In fulfilment of this international commitment, the country is obligated to enact suitable legislation in furtherance of the rights recognized in the UN Convention.

India enacted the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act of 1995 in fulfilment of its obligation as a signatory to the proclamation on the full participation and equality of People with Disabilities in Asia Pacific region. This legislation has been on the statute book for nearly 15 years and has been the basis of a largely empowering jurisprudence on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Whilst the need to retain the empowering jurisprudence is unequivocally acknowledged; it is also recognized that the present Persons with Disabilities Act does not incorporate a number of rights recognized in the UN CRPD. Even the rights that are recognized are not in total harmony with the principles of the Convention.

Furthermore, the UN CRPD recognizes that disability is an evolving concept and that disability results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others. The Persons with Disabilities Act on the other hand has provided for impairment based exhaustive definition of disability. Consequently, people with impairments not mentioned in the Act have been denied the rights and entitlements recognized in the Act.

Insofar as the present Disability Act at no place mandates the right to equality and non-discrimination for persons with disabilities and only selectively recognizes some rights for some persons with disabilities, it is proposed to replace the current disability legislations with a comprehensive law which recognizes all rights of all persons with disabilities.

To this end, it is proposed that the new Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act shall:

Guarantee equality and non-discrimination to all persons with disabilities;

Recognize legal capacity of all persons with disabilities and make provision for support where required to exercise such legal capacity;

Recognize the multiple and aggravated discrimination faced by women with disabilities and induct a gendered understanding in both the rights and the programmatic interventions;

Recognize the special vulnerabilities of children with disabilities and ensure that they are treated on an equal basis with other children;

Mandate special programmatic interventions for home bound persons with disabilities; persons with disabilities in institutions as also persons with disabilities with high support needs;

Establish a Disability Rights Authority which facilitates the formulation of disability policy and law with active participation of persons with disabilities; dismantles structural discrimination existing against persons with disabilities and regulates the due observance of standards and guidelines promulgated under this Act for the protection, promotion and enjoyment of all rights guaranteed in this Act;

Specify civil and criminal sanctions for acts and conduct deemed to be wrongful;

Preamble

Whereas the Constitution of India resolves to secure to all its citizens justice; liberty; equality; and fraternity; and Citizens with Disability are an essential part of the Indian Human Diversity

Whereas Persons with Disability have a right:

to integrity, dignity and respect with full participation and inclusion;

to celebrate human diversity and assert human interdependence

to live a life free of shame, ridicule, or any form of disempowerment and stereotyping;

to be bearers of all civil-political and socio-economic rights guaranteed by international and national law on an equal basis with others.

To this end the Union of India, in its sixty-third year, enacts the Right to Persons with Disabilities Act as follows:

Part I: INTRODUCTORY

Title of the New Act

Short title extent and commencement

This Act may be called the “Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2010”

It extends to the whole of India including the state of Jammu & Kashmir. However, its application to the state of Jammu & Kashmir shall be specified by the President of India only after the Government of Jammu & Kashmir gives its concurrence on the application of this law to that State;

It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may by notification appoint but in no case later than one year after its assent by the President.

Definitions

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires:

‘Advance directives’ refer to health care decisions made in advance which could include inter alia instructions on the use of life support systems and medical procedures to be used or avoided;

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices are electronic devices which provide disabled persons their daily communication needs with the capabilities;

‘Communication’ includes languages, display of text, Braille, tactile communication, large print, accessible multimedia 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;

‘Disadvantage’ means any restriction on or denial of a right, freedom, entitlement, remuneration, goods, benefit, accessibility, service, provision, opportunity, license or any other social, political, economic, cultural or civil interest; and includes any segregation of a person or a group of persons to whom one or more prohibited grounds apply from others;

Explanation

It is immaterial that such restriction, denial or segregation is unintentional, or that it is intended for the purpose of protecting a person to who one or more prohibited grounds apply.

Discrimination on the basis of ‘Prohibited Grounds’ means discrimination on the grounds of :

Disability,

Perceived disability, whether the perception is accurate or otherwise, or

Association of a person with persons to whom one or more prohibited grounds apply, or

A combination of disability and any other autonomy-infringing characteristic such as race, colour, caste, scheduled tribe status, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, language, religion, pregnancy, maternity, marital status, carer status, political or other opinion, national, ethnic, indigenous or social origin, property, birth, age.

‘Establishment’ means and includes:

Department and Ministries of Government;

Local authorities and authorities or bodies owned, controlled or aided by the Central or State Government;

Any statutory or non-statutory body created, owned, financially or administratively controlled or aided by the Central or State Government or any such body performing public functions which are primarily welfare activities and includes Government Companies as defined in Section 617 of the Companies Act;

Any contractor who has been awarded a public tender;

Any company, firm, society, association, agency, institution, organization, union, landlord, industry, supplier of goods or services, factory or other non-statutory body which is not covered under clause (i) to (iv) and provides employment in rural and urban areas;

Unless the under the scheme prepared by the Disability Rights Authority the entity satisfies the requirements to be exempted for cause of undue hardship; or

 Any establishment as the Central or State Government may notify in the Official Gazette

Explanation 1

The term ‘industry’ shall have the same meaning as in Section 2 (j) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947

(g) ‘Enduring power of attorney’ is the appointment of a representative to manage the affairs of the donor even when the donor is no longer able to manage his or her affairs.

(h) ‘Experiential expert’ is a person with a particular impairment who has through personal experience, advocacial intervention or service provision acquired expertise in relation to the impairment and the barriers faced by it;

(i) ‘Fund’ means the National Fund for Persons with Disabilities established under Section 24D and E

‘Harassment’ means unwanted conduct related to any prohibited ground which takes place with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person or of creating an intimidating, humiliating or offensive environment ;

‘Hate Speech’ means any kind of expression through writing, publishing, giving speeches or holding discussions at meetings of groups of individuals with an intention to cause mental trauma, or incite hatred against persons with disabilities.

Internet Communication Technologies & Electronics [ICTE] refers to technologies that provide access to information through telecommunications, includes the Internet, wireless networks, cell phones, washing machines, where it includes but is not restricted to computers having an user interface.

‘Language’ includes spoken and signed languages and other forms of non spoken languages;

‘Person with disabilities’ is a person with any physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others

‘Premises’ includes (a) a structure, building, aircraft, vehicle or vessel; and (b) a place (whether enclosed or built on or not); and (c)a part of premises (including premises of a kind referred to in paragraph (a) or (b)

‘Prescribed’ means prescribed rules made under this Act.

‘Public building’ means a building, irrespective of ownership, which is used and accessed by the members of public at large;

‘Reasonable Accommodation’ means:

where a provision, criterion or practice puts a person to whom one or more prohibited grounds apply at a significant disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter in comparison with other persons, to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take to avoid the disadvantage.

where a physical feature puts a person to whom one or more prohibited grounds apply at a significant disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter in comparison with other persons, to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take to avoid the disadvantage.

where a person to whom one or more prohibited grounds apply would, but for the provision of an auxiliary aid, be put at a significant disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter in comparison with other persons, to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take to provide the auxiliary aid.

where clause (i) or (iii) above relates to the provision of information, the steps which it is reasonable to have to take include steps for ensuring that in the circumstances concerned the information is provided in an accessible format

Provided that the particular requirements of women with disabilities shall in no case be seen as imposing a disproportionate or undue burden.

‘Registered organization’ means an association of persons with disability or an association of parents of persons with disability or a voluntary organizationworking for the human rights of persons with disabilities , as the case may be.

‘Service Dog’ means a dog that has been or is being specially trained to aid a person with a disability other than sight or hearing

‘Services’ means services relating to banking, insurance, superannuation; grants, loans, credit or finance; or entertainment, recreation or refreshment; or transport or travel; or telecommunications; or of the kind provided by the members of any profession or trade; or of the kind provided by a government, a government authority or a local government body.

‘Subject expert’ means a person whether with or without disability who has through a formal course of study acquired recognized educational qualifications and has also obtained experience through the practical application of such knowledge;

‘Support network’ refers to a group which supports a person with disabilities in carrying out his or her life activities. This network may be made of family members, friends, service providers and others who have a personal connection and are in a trusted relationship with the person with disability;

‘Universal design’ means the design of products, environments, programmes and services to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. “Universal design” shall not exclude assistive devices for particular groups of persons with disabilities where this is needed.

‘User Interface’ refers to that part of the electronic and information and communication technology with which the user interacts and is not restricted only to software and websites.

‘Victimization’ means subjecting or threatening to subject any of the following persons to any disadvantage:

one who brings a proceeding under this Act; or

gives evidence or information in connection with a proceeding under this Act; or

does any other thing in connection with or for the purposes of this Act; or

makes an allegation (whether express or not) that another person has contravened this Act; or

is the alleged victim of the alleged contravention of this Act.

2. Guiding Principles for implementation and interpretation

  1. Any court, person or authority interpreting this Act shall bear in mind that:
  1. The provisions of this Act shall be so construed as to promote equality before law, equal protection of laws and equal recognition before law to all persons with disability and the right to live with human dignity and personal liberty.
  2. Any provision of this Act, or any rule, regulation or programmes made under this Act shall be so constructed to give widest effect to the rights guaranteed under this Act.
  3. Any provision restricting or limiting or putting condition to any right under this Act shall be strictly construed.
  4. In case of any conflict between any restriction and the right; the right shall prevail.
  5. Unless otherwise provided for in the Act, there is no hierarchy amongst the rights guaranteed under this Act; the sequence of their elucidation is not the order of their primacy.
  6. Nothing in this Act shall be so constructed as having the purport and effect of denying, suspending, reducing, or eliminating the legal capacity of any person with disability.

No provision in this Act shall be interpreted to the disadvantage of any person with disability.

Nothing in this Act shall be so constructed which has the purport and effect of denying, suspending, reducing, or eliminating any existing right, benefit, or privilege enjoyed by any person with disability.

  1. Without prejudice to the above stated general principles of interpretation, any court or authority while adjudicating under this Act shall also be mindful of:
    1. The preamble, objects and purpose of this Act to give effect to the this legislation in letter and spirit;
    2. The Fundamental Rights enshrined in the Constitution of India, and the judicial interpretation which have underlined the inter-dependence of the fundamental rights, and of fundamental rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy;
    3. The judicial decisions which have given purposive interpretation and widest effect to the rights under Part III of the Constitution of India;
    4. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability which has been signed and ratified by India;
    5. Any other International Convention, including the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Convention on Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women, Convention on the Rights of the Child, which have been signed and ratified by India.

3. Awareness Raising

In order to ensure that the rights recognized in this legislation are respected, protected and promoted, it is important that both state and civil society comprehend that disability is an integral part of the human condition; recognize the capabilities and contributions of persons with disabilities; combat the stereotypes prejudices and harmful practices which impede the participation of persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others.

The Appropriate governments and the Disability Rights Authority shall devise suitable information campaigns, and sensitization programmes which raise awareness on the direct and indirect discrimination directed against persons with disability as a measure to prevent such discrimination.

In furtherance of this obligation and to prevent the discrimination and exclusion arising from inaccurate and pejorative use of language the nomenclature and terminology developed in this legislation shall be employed in all state communications; transactions; rules; regulations; notifications and orders;

The appropriate Governments shall launch and support stigma reduction programmes; mass education campaigns; information and technology linked dissemination programmes; and sensitization workshops on disability rights to achieve the objectives outlined in subsection (1) of section 3 which amongst others addresses the medical fraternity; the family; government officials; political representatives; the media and the legal community;

Without prejudice to the general awareness raising obligation in sub section 2 of section 3 such programmes, campaigns and workshops shall inter alia

Promote values of inclusion, tolerance, empathy and respect for diversity; Stress on the value of a disabled life;

Create awareness to respect the decisions made by persons with disability on all matters related to family life, relationships, founding a family and raising children.

Provide orientation and sensitization at the school, college and university level, training and professional training level in on the human condition of disability and the rights of persons with disabilities

The appropriate governments, public and private establishments shall launch legal literacy and information dissemination programmes on disability rights generally and this law more particularly.

ACCESSIBILITY

4 A Accessibility

  1. Insofar as accessibility is an essential pre-condition to enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life; in furtherance of article 9 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Art 14 and 21 of the Indian Constitution it is hereby recognized that persons with disabilities shall be provided such accessibility on an equal basis with others to the physical environment; transportation; information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas.

4 B Accessibility Standards

In order to ensure such accessibility, the Disability Rights Authority shall promulgate Accessibility Standards and Guidelines.

The Authority shall in consultation with subject and experiential experts formulate these Guidelines by adopting or adapting prevailing standards physical environment and information and communication technologies and systems to Indian conditions. Whilst making the adaptation and laying down the standards the authority shall ensure that the guidelines are age appropriate and are applicable to :

All buildings and facilities used by the public.

To temporary or emergency conditions as well as permanent conditions.

Applicable to all new community residential places and private residences

  • Road based transport including
  • Bus design and bus stations
  • Coach Design and stations
  • Taxi design and taxi stations
  • Aviation
  • Plane design and airports
  • Railways
  • Railway coaches and train stations
  • Metro cars and stationsTrams and tram stations
  • Pedestrian infrastructure
  • Rural Public Transport System

4 C Infrastructure Accessibility

All appropriate governments shall take appropriate measures:

To develop, promulgate and monitor the implementation of accessibility standards and design guidelines for both urban and rural areas within a period of 1 year;

These guidelines shall be updated after every six years, for infrastructural accessibility that will be applicable to all premises;

The appropriate government shall provide facilities for persons with disabilities at the stations, airports that meet the accessibility standards e.g. Toilets, ticketing counter at a specific height, sign language interpreters, information in Braille, Braille navigation / guide maps etc;

The vehicles must conform to standards so that a traveller with disability can get into and out of the vehicle while in wheelchairs and travel in safety and comfort;

All new vehicles must conform to design standard; and old vehicles to the regulations for the fitting of equipment to vehicles for providing accessibility;

Where no modifications are possible live assistance should be made available to persons with disabilities;

4 D Schemes for Personal Mobility

All appropriate governments shall develop schemes and programmes to promote the personal mobility of persons with disabilities at affordable cost, in the manner and time of their choice

Such schemes may inter alia

provide incentives and concessions to private transport companies to provide transport facilitates to disabled persons.

Encourage manufacturers to retrofit vehicles for disabled persons to drive and provide the same at no extra cost

formulate norms for providing driving licences to disabled drivers

4 E Access to services

All Appropriate governments shall ensure that all services and facilities for the general population are available on an equal basis to persons with disabilities and are responsive to their needs.

All appropriate Governments must ensure that all service providers in the public domain, have information about procedures laid out on how are they are making their services more accessible to ensure a disabled people does not face undue hardships in using the service.

To provide forms of live assistance and intermediaries, including guides, readers and professional sign language interpreters, to facilitate accessibility to buildings and other facilities open to the public;

To promote other appropriate forms of assistance and support to persons with disabilities to ensure their access to information;

Provision of service dogs at public places to be made available

All appropriate governments to ensure that all announcements inviting public response must be accessible to all people with disabilities. These announcements may include – announcements made for procurement, employment, public health, disaster preparedness etc.

4 F Access to information and communication technology

All appropriate governments and the Disability Rights Authority shall take measures to ensure that :

All content including publications, periodicals, journals, multi-media, etc shall be made available to disabled persons in electronic format; and educational material including textbooks . be produced in accessible format;

Schemes be formulated or amended for affordable access to Information and Communication Technology & Electronics for persons with disabilities in rural as well as urban areas;

All new websites including privately owned to be launched shall conform to the existing web accessibility guidelines;

Within three months of enforcement of the Act, all Indian websites run publicly or privately are made compliant to W3C web accessibility standards;

incentives and concessions are provided to port exiting websites using older technologies to the current technology including making available all data in electronic formats;

Accessibility to published material should be accorded precedence over intellectual property rights and all material in public domain can be converted to a text and other accessible formats including daisy format for further conversion to Braille, audio etc.

Electronic goods and equipments such as cellphones, washing machines, television shall be universally designed additional

Electronic goods and equipments should provide additional facility for add-ons and plug-ins for AAC devices used disabled persons and at affordable cost

  1. Ensure Access to Films and Documentaries by:
    • audio description of films, documentaries and electronic visual media including private television broadcasters to provide audio description of their programming with audio description.
    • Such films and documentaries to also have sign language interpretation and close captioning of persons with hearing impairments.
  2. Electronic accessibility  will be applicable to persons who provide goods, services or facilities to the public using telecommunications services,  and will include All broadcasting organizations, Manufactures of electronic   products  and devices.

4 G Access to Consumer Products

All appropriate governments would take appropriate  steps to promote

  • accessible design, development, production and distribution of universally designed consumer products for general use;
  • provide exemptions to manufactures of these products.

Access to all personal grooming and beautification services on equal basis as others, such as clothing, cosmetic, and fitness services.

4 H Access to Mobility and Communication Aids

All appropriate governments shall formulate schemes

  1. To facilitate access by persons with disabilities to quality mobility aids, devices, assistive technologies including AACs and forms of live assistance and intermediaries, including by making them available at affordable cost both in rural and urban areas;
  2. The Aids and appliances distributed by the government to persons with disabilities under schemes should include;
    • decoders for television sets in order to enable access to captions on television.
    • head pointers, buzzers, adapted keyboards, advance screen reading software, daisy recorders,
    • Braille displays and Braille note and to be made available at subsidized rates.
  1. To provide training in mobility skills to persons with disabilities and to specialist staff working with persons with disabilities;
  2. The appropriate Government and the Disability Rights authority shall make necessary regulations to ensure that producers of mobility aids, devices and assistive technologies take into account all aspects of mobility for persons with disabilities living in urban and rural areas;
  3. Such regulations shall make it mandatory on all manufacturers of mobility aids and appliances to obtain BIS certification of quality; make provisions for repairs and after sales service;
  4. A person, whether or not he is blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing or otherwise disabled, has the right to be accompanied in or on public streets, highways, walkways, public buildings, public facilities and services, and other public places with an assistance dog being trained by that person without being required to pay an extra charge for the assistance dog.

4 I Monitoring and penal provisions

Monitoring and penal provisions for default in providing access to all new built infrastructure, services and ICTE

4 J Mandatory Observance of Accessibility Norms

Subsequent to the enforcement of this Act no individual organization or establishment shall be granted permission to build if the building plan does not adhere to the standards and guidelines on accessibility;

Subsequent to the enforcement of this Act no individual, organization or establishment shall be issued a certificate of completion or allowed to take occupation if the individual, organization, or establishment failed to adhere to the standards and guidelines on accessibility;

If it found after due inquiry that the minimum standards and guidelines of accessibility have been violated then depending upon the extent of the dereliction

  • the supply of water and electricity may be suspended till the accessibility requirements are fulfilled or
  • the license of the builder may be cancelled; and
  • the certifying authorities will be presumed to have colluded with the builder and penalized.

The fact of a certifying authority presumed to have colluded with the builder shall be recorded as an adverse entry in the service record of the concerned authority. Any officer receiving more than two of such entries shall be suspended from service.

Any builder who is found to be negligent or intentionally derelict in implementing the access provisions shall be delicensed

4 K Time Limit for Making Existing Infrastructure and Premises Accessible

All existing built infrastructure  owned by the government, all privately built or owned infrastructure which is meant for public use and all premises to be made accessible within a time limit of not exceeding 10 years from the enactment of this Act.

All authorities including civic authorities entrusted with the task of maintenance/ renovation  of such infrastructure  and all concerned government departments  and all privately owned infrastructure which is providing public services to prepare a phased plan of providing accessibility in all existing built infrastructure.

4 L Dereliction of duty by Service Provider

A service provider failing to provide service in accordance with the accessibility norms could be required to:

Compensate the person with disability for the humiliation experienced due to denial of the service;

Suffer cancellation of services  on that particular route for a period of at least days;

Surrender license in instances of continued default;

Pay fines for non-compliance or have manufacturing license cancelled

4 M Role of the National Centre for Universal Design and Barrier-free Environment

The National Centre for Universal Design and barrier freer Environment established by order by the Government of India will primarily assist the nation to become more universally accessible and inclusive in terms of accessibility;

The Centre shall support the Disability Rights Authority in monitoring Access features in all modes of transport provided to the public at large both in the rural and urban areas;

 In furtherance In furtherance of the role outlined in sub-section (1) the Centre shall undertake the below mentioned activities in the following manner

(a) Research and Development

All research and development projects being conducted on hardware in area of physical environment electronic and information and communication technology must adhere to universal design and accessibility standards and guidelines.

All research and development projects being conducted must include persons with disabilities in the design, development and testing

Funds must be allocated for research and development must to be approved by Disability Rights Authority that has representation of persons from all disability categories including persons with severe and multiple disabilities.

Incentive schemes should be provided to organizations that invest in developing hardware complying with universal design and accessibility standards and guidelines.

Information must be provided in a public domain such as through a website

(b) Teaching

Ensure that the educational curriculum in the fields of design, information technology, electronic and engineering include universal design and relevant accessibility standards and guidelines.

Seek an evaluation of the current educational curriculum and include relevant courses, subjects, and topics to ensure that the knowledge of accessible and universal design is provided to students. This would have a long term impact on the development of accessibility

Facilitate students in educational institutes to undertake research and development of hardware design complying with universal design and accessibility standards and guidelines in the area of electronic and information and communication technology.

(c) Awareness & Education

Awareness must be raised about barriers faced by persons with disabilities in the area of hardware used in electronic and information and communication technology.

Such awareness can be spread by conducting research studies, organize conferences, workshops and seminars to disseminate information about barriers faced by persons with disabilities.

(d) Consultancy

Act as de facto as the consultant to the union government, federal government, corporate sectors, voluntary organization and un-organized sectors

4 N Implementation Plan

The Disability Rights Authority in collaboration with NCUDBE would formulate an action plan based on prioritization of providing accessibility in all public buildings and spaces providing essential services such as all PHCs, Civil/District hospitals, Primary schools/ secondary schools, railway stations bus stations etc within 10 years.

All plans will be public documents and shall be made available on the website of DRA in formats accessible to disabled persons;

A plan will include  carrying out of access audits by authorized team of auditors and provision of accessible facilities based on standard accessibility guidelines;

All concerned authorities will make the plan public

The Disability Rights Authority will set up a system of monitoring all existing built infrastructure once the plans to provide accessibility are made public.

Accessibility plan will be the basis of monitoring and deviations against plan will be made public and action initiated against departmental head in-charge of implementation of Accessibility plan.

Monitoring of facilities will be done vis-a-vis the standards and guidelines developed for each mode of transport initially developed by the concerned Ministry and later on by the NCUBE.

5 Human Resource Development

The appropriate governments shall ensure that the social economic and civil political rights guaranteed in this Act are duly implemented and to that end shall undertake the development human resource so that it renders available services inclusive; sensitizes existing personnel and creates curricula which is disability sensitive;

In order to fulfil the obligation stated in sub section (1) of section 5, the concerned ministries shall undertake a needs based analysis and formulate a plan for the recruitment training and induction of suitable personnel to undertake the various responsibilities outlined in this Act;

In addition to the cadre creating obligations outlined in sub section (2) of section 5, the appropriate governments shall promote human resource development in this sector by inter alia

Mandating training on disability rights in all courses for the training of administrators, police officials, judges and judicial officers

Induction of disability rights education in all continuing education programmes for school, college and university teachers and for doctors, engineers, architects and other professionals.

Capacity building programmes for families and care providers on care giving and support

Independence training for care givers and for persons with disabilities to build community relationships on mutual contribution and respect.

6. Right to Equality and Non-Discrimination

All persons with disabilities are equal before the law and are entitled to equal protection and equal benefit of the law without any discrimination whether direct or indirect.

‘Direct Discrimination’ occurs when whether intentionally or unintentionally:

a person or group of persons to whom one or more prohibited grounds apply is treated less favourably than another person or another group of persons is, has been, or would have been treated in a comparable situation; or

  • for a reason which is at least in part related to one or more prohibited grounds, a person or group of persons is subjected to a disadvantage; or
  • there is failure to provide reasonable accommodation;
  • a person or a group of persons is harassed or victimized.

‘Indirect Discrimination’ occurs when a provision, criterion or practice, even though neutral on the face of it, has the effect of putting persons to whom one or more prohibited grounds apply at a disadvantage compared with other;

No person with disability shall be discriminated on the basis of any of the prohibited grounds; unless it can be shown that the impugned act, provision, criterion, practice, treatment or omission is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim Provided that harassment, victimisation or a failure to provide reasonable accommodation may not be justified under any circumstance;

In no case shall a person with disability be required to partly or fully pay any of the costs incurred to provide reasonable accommodation or any of the other obligations imposed in this section.

All persons with disabilities are entitled to equal and effective legal protection from discrimination on any of the prohibited grounds.

All persons with disabilities have legal capacity and the right to choose their way of life, on an equal basis with others and any measure, intervention, interpretation which has the effect of denying or withdrawing or eliminating the legal capacity of any person with disability shall constitute discrimination.

Any affirmative action measure aimed to accelerate or achieve de facto equality of persons with disabilities shall not constitute discrimination;

In any case upon it being found that an establishment or person has practiced discrimination which the establishment has failed to justify, the Court or Commissioner of Disability as the case may be shall make declaratory, mandatory, injunctive, compensatory, supervisory or any other suitable orders against that establishment or to redress the victim for any disadvantage or mental anguish, suffered because of such discrimination and stop any further discrimination against the victim or persons situated in a position similar to the victim.

The Court or Commissioner of Disability shall also require the establishment to bear the costs of the proceedings and to pay any interest that may be due.

6A Women with disabilities

All women and girls with disabilities are equal before and under the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law.

The appropriate government and authorities under the Act shall take all appropriate measures, including formulating, extending and implementing gender-specific programmes and schemes, to ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all rights by women and girls with disabilities.

No woman or girl with disabilities shall be excluded, either fully or partially, from any entitlement or programme provided for the benefit of persons with disabilities under this Act or under any other law for the time being in force on the ground of sex.

Nothing in this section shall prevent the government or any authority from taking specific measures for, or providing special entitlements to, women and girls with disabilities to promote full and equal enjoyment of their rights.

6B Children with Disabilities

Children with disabilities have the same human rights and fundamental freedoms as other children ;

They are entitled to enjoy these rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis with other children and the denial of any rights on the basis of disability shall be discrimination;

The appropriate governments and the Disability Rights Authority shall ensure that children with disabilities have a right to freely express their views on all matters affecting them;

The views of the child must be given due weight in accordance with evolving capacities of the child

The Disability Rights Authority shall devise protocols whereby age and disability appropriate guidance and information shall be provided to the child to exercise this right.

6C Right of children to be protected against violence abuse and exploitation

All children with disabilities have a right to be protected against all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse in all settings, including the home, family, schools, institutions and the juvenile justice systems.

All children with disabilities have a right to be provided with an accessible, safe and confidential complaint mechanism. Such complaints have to be addressed in a time bound manner.

The state has to ensure that any institution/ hospital providing any service to children with disabilities must be staffed with specially trained personnel and any individual who is involved in providing any support or service to child with disability must be trained for the same.

6D Right of Children to Home and Family

The State shall ensure that children with disabilities have an equal right with respect to family life. The State shall undertake support measures such as providing comprehensive information and support to children with disabilities and their families to ensure that they are not concealed, abandoned, neglected or segregated.

6E Access to Justice for Children

All children with disabilities have a right to be provided with access to court and legal representation and to participate (directly or indirectly) in court proceedings which affect their lives including the right to be mandatorily informed of any proceedings concerning them and be provided with disability and age appropriate accommodations.

6F Right to Culture Leisure and Sport

All children with disabilities have a right to play and participate in sports, recreation and cultural activities on an equal basis with other children.

The State shall provide for disability and age appropriate opportunities for children with disabilities to participate in sports and have access to playgrounds along with other children.

The State shall ensure that children with disabilities have access to cultural materials in an accessible format and access to cultural activities, performance and services along with other children.

6G  Pro Active Efforts to Address Multiple Discrimination and Social Exclusion

In acknowledgement of the fact that there are persons with disabilities who due to the nature of the impairment, accompanied with social stigma and combining with  familial, social, educational, economic, or spatial barriers face social invisibilization;

The multiple discrimination and social exclusion faced amongst others by persons with intellectual, developmental and psychosocial disabilities; homebound persons with disabilities; persons with disabilities in institutions; destitute and vagrant persons with disabilities shall be addressed by the appropriate governments; the Designated Authority and the Disability Rights Authority jointly launching schemes and programs which would seek the pro-active inclusion participation and visibilization of such persons with disabilities ;

The launching of such affirmative action programs for the constituencies mandating enhanced attention in no way compels an individual member to avail of such programs;

PART IV LEGAL CAPACITY AND CIVIL POLITICAL RIGHTS

7A Right to Legal Capacity and Equal Recognition before the Law

Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law to the contrary, persons with disabilities enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life and have the right to equal recognition everywhere as persons before the law.

Any legislation, rule, notification, order, by-law, regulation, custom, practice that deprives any person with disability of their legal capacity shall be in contravention with this Act and hereinafter be void.

All persons with disabilities shall if they so desire have the right to seek support to exercise legal capacity;

No person with disability shall be obliged to obtain or seek support;

All persons with disability have the right to access all arrangements and support necessary for exercising all the incidents of legal capacity in accordance with their will and preferences.

 The Disability Rights Authority shall take appropriate measures and make suitable schemes which are also gender sensitive to provide access by persons with disabilities to the support they may require to exercise their legal capacity.

Irrespective of the degree or the extent of support in no case shall the legal capacity of persons with disabilities be questioned or denied because such person with disability accesses support to exercise such legal capacity taken

When a conflict of interest arises between a person providing support and a person with disability in a particular transaction then such supporting person shall abstain from providing support to the person with disability in that transaction.

Explanation

There shall not be a general presumption of conflict of interest just on the basis that the supported person is related to the person with disability by blood, affinity or adoption.

No person providing support either individually or as a part of a network shall exercise undue influence on a person with disability. Such support when provided by an individual or a network shall be so provided that it respects the autonomy, dignity and privacy of the person with disability.

A person with disability shall have the right to alter, modify or dismantle any support arrangement and substitute it with another. Provided that such alteration modification or dismantling shall be prospective in nature and shall not nullify any third party transactions entered into by the person with disability along with the support arrangement.

Any person with disability who is deprived of legal capacity or is denied of the exercise of legal capacity by any person, authority or agency may file a complaint of such deprivation or denial to the District Commissioner of Disability which shall provide a suitable relief as expeditiously as possible.

In fulfillment of its obligation to facilitate the provision of support for persons with disabilities, the Disability Rights Authority shall draw up guidelines to enable:

  1. Registration of Advance Directives
  2. Recognition of Support Networks
  3. Registration of Enduring Powers of Attorney
  4. Terms of appointment of a Personal Assistant or
  5. Any other suitable mechanism of customary law or community practice by which support can be effectively provided to a person with disability.

Any person with disability can use the above guidelines to put in place his or her support arrangement and may register the same with the designated authority.

7B Access to Support

The Disability Rights Authority or any other Authority expressly established for such purpose shall take immediate steps to provide access to suitable support measures for the exercise of legal capacity by persons with disabilities, particularly the persons with disabilities living in institutions and persons who have higher support requirement.

Plenary guardianship is abolished. Any legislation, rule, regulation and practice following or prescribing the system of plenary guardianship shall, hereinafter, be void.

The Disability Rights Authority or any other Authority expressly established for such purpose shall take suitable steps including, where appropriate, mediation proceedings, in order to assist persons with disabilities to exit from plenary guardianship and to help set up where so desired by persons with disabilities suitable support arrangements for the exercise of their legal capacity.

7C Creation of Support for Persons with Disabilities in Institutions

The Designated Authority shall take immediate steps to put in place suitable support measures for the exercise of legal capacity by persons with disabilities and especially for persons with disabilities living in institutions and persons with disabilities who have high support needs.

The Authority shall also devise appropriate policies and schemes which provide suitable support to persons with disabilities and especially persons with disabilities who have high support needs to enable them to realize the social, political, economic and cultural rights guaranteed under the U.N. Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.

Subsequent to the enforcement of this Act designated individuals or committees shall assist persons who have exited from plenary guardianship to set up where so desired by the persons with disabilities suitable support arrangements to aid persons with disabilities in the exercise of their legal capacity. These review activities of the individual or committee is facilitative in nature and no person with disability can be denied legal capacity due to the delay or non occurrence of the review activity.

7D Creation of Support Networks

The Designated Authority shall undertake the task of conceiving new kinds of support, and formulating guidelines on the already included support, in active consultation with persons with disabilities; disabled peoples organizations; parents associations and other concerned members of civil society.

The Authority shall devise suitable mechanisms to obtain feedback from the recipients of support on the suitability and usefulness of the support provided and if and whether they desire any modification or addition to it.

In order to ensure that support is provided whilst respecting the legal capacity of persons with disabilities the DRA shall regularly conduct awareness raising and sensitization programmes on the role, necessity and manner of providing support.

7E Denial of Legal Capacity

Any person with disability who is deprived of legal capacity or is denied of the exercise of legal capacity by any person, authority or agency may file a complaint of such deprivation or denial to the District Commissioner of Disability which shall provide a suitable relief as expeditiously as possible

8 Right to Life and Living

Every person with disability has the inherent right to life. The State shall take all necessary measures to ensure its effective enjoyment by persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others.

Explanation:

The term ‘State’ here has same meaning as the term ‘state’ under Article 12 of the Constitution of India.”

Right to life includes the right to live with dignity, which includes but is not limited to:

adequate nutrition, clothing and shelter;

  • access to facilities for reading, writing and expressing one-self in any form or language whether written, spoken, unspoken, or sign language; and
  • freedom of movement, association, participation and living and sharing with other persons and communities.

Opportunity to acquire personal, social, educational and vocational skills required to function as a person with disability;

Right to legal capacity on all aspects of life on an equal basis with others and access to any support or arrangements necessary for the exercise of legal capacity

Any act or omission which damages or injures or interferes with the use of any limb or faculty of a person with disabilities either permanently or even temporarily, will be punishable under this Act.

9 Protection and Safety of Persons with Disabilities in Situations of Risk

All people with disabilities shall have the right to suitable protection and safety in situations of risk, including situations of armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and the occurrence of natural disasters.

In furtherance of the right recognized in sub-section (1), the appropriate governments and local authorities shall take effective and appropriate measures to enable the protection and safety of people with disabilities in these situations on an equal basis with others.

Without prejudice to the generality of the obligation in sub-section (2), the appropriate governments and local authorities shall formulate or alter as the need may be, all existing and proposed plans and interventions, in consultation with the Disability Rights Authority for the inclusion of people with disabilities.

The National Disaster Management Authority shall take appropriate measures to ensure inclusion of people with disabilities in every scheme, program, mission as well as its ‘disaster management activities’ as defined under S 2(e) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 during the occurrence of any ‘disaster’ as defined under S. 2(d) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 for the safety and protection of persons with disabilities.

The appropriate governments and local authorities shall take suitable measures to ensure the safety and protection and offer immediate relief and rehabilitation to victims with disabilities in situations of communal violence or internal disturbance.

The Armed Forces shall, in all situations of armed conflict, take appropriate measures to ensure the safety and protection of persons with disabilities in light of the obligations under International Human Rights law and International Humanitarian law including the Geneva Conventions I-IV, 1949 and Additional Protocols I & II, 1977.

Every reconstruction activity undertaken by the appropriate authority in response to any situation of armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies or natural disasters should take into accounts the accessibility requirements of people with disabilities. This should be done in consultation with the Disability Rights Authority established under this Act.

The appropriate governments and concerned authorities shall work together with the Disability Rights Authority to –

  1. undertake research and development on issues relating to protection, relief, rescue or safety of people with disabilities in situations of risk;
  2. provide training to people with disabilities on responding effectively to interventions by appropriate authorities in situations of risk;
  3. provide training to personnel dealing with people with disabilities in situations of risk so as to enable them to offer effective support in these situations and sensitize them to the needs and requirements of persons with disabilities.

10 Right to Liberty

No person with disability shall be deprived of their personal liberty without the procedure established by law;

Such procedure established by law must be just, fair and reasonable and not arbitrary.

No person shall be deprived of personal liberty only on the ground disability

All Persons with disabilities shall

  1. enjoy the right to personal liberty and security on an equal basis with others;
  2. If persons with disabilities are deprived of their liberty through any process, they shall be entitled reasonable accommodation and all such guarantees as are necessary for the effective realisation of the right to liberty and security in such circumstance.

Right to personal liberty for persons with disabilities includes

  1. freedom from restrictions or encroachments on person, whether those restrictions or encroachments are directly imposed or indirectly arise;
  2. freedom from non-consensual civil commitment.

Persons with disabilities have a right to non-coercive, non-restrictive and supportive environment which fully respects their sense of space, safety and security.

In order to protect and promote the freedoms guaranteed in sub sections (3) and (4) of this section the Disability Rights Authority shall in collaboration with appropriate governmental and non governmental partners launch programs by which inter alia

  1. promote values of peace, love, non-violence and respect for difference and diversity in schools
  2. safe havens; time out sites and respite places are available to diffuse situations of conflict and violence in the family;
  3. the importance of difference is appreciated and skills of dealing with diversity developed;
  4. community leaders trained who can address conflict situations through conciliation and arbitrations between the community and within the family so as to protect the liberty of all persons with disabilities and especially women, children and the aged.

11 Access to Justice

All persons with disability or any organisation working in the field of disability rights shall have the right to access any court; tribunal; any authority; commission; or any other body having power to adjudicate disputes, in order to seek enforcement, protection or prevention of any unlawful or arbitrary interference with the assertion or exercise of any right guaranteed to them under this Act or any other law in force.

All persons with disability shall have right to initiate a legal proceeding to enforce or defend their rights or participate in any legal proceeding as advocates, witnesses, or experts, or amicus curiae to assist in adjudication of dispute by any court, tribunal, commission authority or any other body having power to adjudicate upon disputes affecting the rights of persons with disabilities .

Every person with disability shall have right to use any means of communication which such person finds suitable or appropriate to undertake the aforesaid legal proceedings;

All communication under sub – section (3) shall be deemed to be oral communication for the purposes of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Act No. 8 of 1908) and the Indian Evidence Act (No. 1 of 1872).

The competence of any person with disability in performing any function in clause (2) shall not be questioned merely on the basis of the disability. The testimony, opinion or argument given by a person with disability shall be evaluated on an equal basis with others and shall not be rejected, dismissed or disregarded merely on account of the fact of the disability of the person giving such testimony, opinion or argument.

Every person with disability shall have the right to access any scheme, programme, facility or service created by the National Legal Services Authority and the State Legal Services Authority of the respective State.

The National Legal Service Authority and the State Legal Service Authority of all the states shall formulate such schemes, procedures, facilities, support systems and arrangements to enable persons with disability to exercise their right under sub-section (1), (2) and (3) of this section.

State Government shall take all the steps to ensure that all the police stations are accessible to all persons with disability and that the necessary equipments, support, or arrangements are made available to enable the persons with disability to file a First Information Report, enter appearance or make statements before the police.

The legal services authority, the Bar Council of India, the Bar Councils of all the states and bar association of all the courts and the authority responsible for infrastructure shall take steps to make all the courts accessible for all the persons with disability.

The organisations, authorities and institutions in sub-section (9) shall take necessary steps:

  1. to ensure that all the documents of the court are in accessible formats;
  2. to ensure that filling departments, registry or any other office or records are equipped with necessary equipments to enable filing, storing and referring to the documents and other evidence in accessible formats.
  3. to make available all the necessary facilities and equipments required to facilitate recording of testimonies, arguments or opinion given by the persons with disability in their preferred language and means of communication

All Judicial Academies; Police Academies and Training Organizations for Prison Officials and Legal Service Authorities are required to make training in disability rights a mandatory part of their induction and continuing education programs.

12 Right to Integrity

Persons with disabilities have a right to respect for their identity as persons with disabilities and to be able to function safely as such persons

Every person with disabilities has a right to respect for his or her physical and mental integrity on an equal basis with others.

Right to integrity includes right to dignity of self and its appreciation in society and requires that communications which reduce the identity of the person with disability to the impairment be abjured and respectful address practiced;

* Illustratively such diminishing of identity happens when a person with disability is called names; labelled; rendered invisible or greeted in a patronizing manner.

The respect for this right should in no way be influenced by the living arrangements of the person with disabilities. The right of homeless persons with disabilities and persons with disabilities in institutions are to be respected on an equal basis with others.

13 Right to be protected from violence, abuse and exploitation

‘Violence’  means any random or unprovoked act or threat of such act on any person with disability or her or his property with a motive to cause harm, injure, destroy, damage or humiliate them and includes any act or omission:

that harms or injures or endangers the health, safety, life, limb or well-being, whether mental or physical, of the aggrieved person or tends to do so;

that harasses, harms, injures or endangers the aggrieved person with a view to coerce such person or any other person related to the aggrieved to meet any unlawful demand

that puts the aggrieved in any institution, or is subject to any intervention, injection, or introduction to any invasive treatment by electric current or radiation or chemicals or any other technique.

Threatening the aggrieved with any conduct mentioned in (a), (b) and (c)

‘Abuse’ means any mental, physical, sexual, psychological, emotional and social mistreatment of any person with disability which has the tendency to cause serious emotional, mental, physical, and/or sexual injury and includes physical, sexual, verbal or emotional abuse and economic abuse which thereof shall be understood as:

‘physical abuse’ means any act or conduct which is of such a nature as to cause bodily pain, harm, or danger to life, limb, or health or impair the health or development of the aggrieved person and includes assault, criminal intimidation and criminal force; and includes taking to any undesirable place, or forcing to see, hear, feel, eat, drink or smell anything undesirable to any person with disability

‘sexual abuse’ includes any conduct of a sexual nature that abuses, humiliates, degrades or otherwise violates the dignity of the victim;

‘verbal and emotional abuse’ includes insulting, ridiculing, humiliating any person with disability whether directly or indirectly on the basis of disability

‘economic abuse’ includes depriving a person with disability of all or substantial economic or financial resources, or restricting or denying any access to the resources and facilities which makes it unrealistic for the aggrieved to live with dignity.

‘Abuse’ also includes denying or making or keeping inaccessible necessary support which the person with disability had demanded for which could be reasonably understood to have been demanded and exercise of any undue influence or pressure on, or willfully beguiling any person with disability to do or omit to do something which in the normal course such person with disability would have not done or done.

Exploitation  means any act which has the purport and effect of taking unfair advantage of any limitation of the aggrieved. Any person having a relationship whether personal, professional or fiduciary with the aggrieved or otherwise holds the trust and confidence of the aggrieved is guilty of exploitation if that person knowingly, by deception or intimidation, obtains or use, or try to obtain or use aggrieved person’s funds, assets, or property with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive such person with disability of the use, benefit, or possession of the funds, assets, or property, or to benefit someone other than the aggrieved without obtaining her/his valid consent.


Explanation


Any act done voluntarily, recklessly, negligently, maliciously or with the knowledge of its consequences endangers or unfairly puts the person with disability to injury, risk or disadvantage not explicitly covered by above explanations is deemed to be exploitation of the person with disability.

13A Every person with disability has the right to be protected against all forms of exploitation, abuse and violence, including physical, mental, sexual, and emotional on the person of such person with disability in all settings at all places including, home, care-houses, educational institutions, institutions, workplaces, and any other place which resides, co-habits, employs or in other manner inhabits any person with disability whether temporarily or permanently.

The Central and State Governments shall take all appropriate administrative, social, educational and other measures to protect persons with disabilities, both within and outside the home, from all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse, bearing in mind also that persons with disability may be subject to discrimination on more than one grounds such as gender, religion, caste, sexual orientation simultaneously with disability;

Any organisation working with persons with disability or any person, who has reason to believe that an act of exploitation, violence and abuse has been, or is being, or is likely to be committed against any person with disability, may give information about it to the police officer, or the magistrate in whose jurisdiction such incident occurs is or is likely to occur, or to the District Disability Commissioner] who shall take immediate steps on the receipt of such information to stop it and have the persons responsible for it arrested or if it has not occurred, to prevent its occurrence.

No civil or criminal liability shall be incurred by any person in good faith furnishing information for the purpose of sub section (3)

Any person with disability who is or has been or apprehends or has reason to believe that s/he may be subject to any form of exploitation, violence or abuse may make an application for protection before the District Disability Commissioner for protection.

The Commissioner upon being satisfied that the act of exploitation, violence and abuse, is being committed, or has been committed or if not prevented in all likelihood would be committed against a person with disability may pass necessary orders, or may direct or take such steps to ensure safety to the Person with Disability on the basis of any information received under sub-section (3) or any application received under subsection (5).

The Commissioner, if satisfied that the impugned act has been committed or is in fact being committed, it may after recording its findings and reasons, may pass any order, including:

Send the person causing exploitation, violence or abuse to any person with disability to police custody to initiate appropriate criminal proceeding against such person.

If such person is not a natural person, it may send the occupier or manager of such artificial person to the police custody for initiation of criminal proceedings.

If such person is a company registered under the Companies Act, it may recommend the registrar of the companies to take an appropriate action under the Companies Act against the defaulter company.

An order to rescue the victim of such act, authorising the police or any reliable organisation working with the persons with disability to provide for the safe custody, or rehabilitation of such person with disability, or both.

Issue an order for providing protective custody of the person with disability if the person with disability so desires it;

In addition to the measures mentioned in clauses (a) to (e) [both included], it may ask the guilty person or organisation or company to provide monetary relief for the maintenance of such person with disability.

A combination of one of more orders or directions mentioned above.

The commission, in its discretion, may counsel any person accused of an act of exploitation, violence or abuse against a person with disability the presence of the aggrieved person and record its observations or recommend a lenient view of the punishment, while passing any order under subsection (6).

A police officer, Disability commissioner or Magistrate who has received a complaint of exploitation, violence or abuse with any person with disability, is otherwise present at the place of such incident or when such incident is reported to him, shall inform the aggrieved person:

of the right to make an application for obtaining protection under subsection (5) before the Disability Rights Commission;

contacts of the nearest organisation(s) or institution(s) working for the rehabilitation of persons with disability who have been subject to exploitation, violence or abuse;

contacts of the nearest office(s) of the authorities mentioned under this Act, which shall assist the complainant of her right to free legal services under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 (39 of 1987) or any other services offered by the National Legal Services Authority or the State Legal Services Authority for the benefit of persons with disability of her right to file a complaint under the relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code or any other legislation dealing with such crimes.

Provided that nothing in this Act shall be construed in any manner as to relieve a police officer from his duty to proceed in accordance with law upon receipt of information as to the commission of a cognizable offence.

The Disability Rights Authority shall take measures for the sensitization of general public on the ways and forms in which the persons with disability are subjected to exploitation, violence and abuse including their gender and age based aspects and the penalties for these acts.

The Disability Rights Authority shall take all appropriate measures to prevent all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse by ensuring, inter alia, appropriate forms of gender- and age-sensitive assistance and support for persons with disabilities and their families and caregivers, including providing information and education and raising avareness on:

identifying and recognizing the incidents of exploitation, violence and abuse;

the legal remedies available against such incidents;

steps to be taken for avoiding such incidents;

steps to be taken for reporting such incidents;

steps required for the rescue, protection and rehabilitation of persons with disability who have been the victims of such incidents.

The Disability Rights Authority shall take all measures to develop gender and age sensitive support and arrangements to access legal remedies; to contact authorities, organizations and officials including the police whenever any person with faces, witnesses or apprehends violence, exploitation or abuse; and all information mentioned in subsection (11).

The Central and State Governments along with the organisations working in the field of disability rights shall take all appropriate measures to promote the physical, cognitive and psychological recovery, rehabilitation and social reintegration of persons with disabilities who become victims of any form of exploitation, violence or abuse, including through the provision of protection services. Such recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration shall take place in an environment that fosters the health, welfare, self-respect, dignity and autonomy of the person and takes into account gender and age specific needs.

14 Right to Privacy

No person with disabilities shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence or other types of communication or to unlawful attacks on his or her honour and reputation.

Persons with disabilities have the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Such protection shall be provided at all sites and shall among others include homes, institutions or any other living arrangement and will extend to all fields including the media, employment and health sectors.

Explanation

‘Privacy’ will be all encompassing and will include within it informational privacy (right to control one’s information), decisional privacy (right to make one’s own decisions), bodily/ physical privacy, communications privacy and sexual privacy.

The appropriate government and the Disability Rights Authority shall ensure that the privacy of personal, health and rehabilitation information of persons with disabilities is protected on an equal basis with others.

All public authorities as defined in the Right to Information Act, 2005 in collaboration with the Disability Rights Authority established under this Act shall devise codes of conduct which are gender sensitive and guidelines to protect the privacy of persons with disabilities in different sectors. Whilst formulating the guidelines the concerned authorities shall take note of the following relevant considerations

Privacy needs must be addressed by balancing need for being alone, and need for being supported;

Reasonable accommodation and necessary support must factor in personalized needs for privacy;

The balance between disclosure and privacy is a matter to be decided by the person with disabilities.

14A Illustrations

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and other related agencies under the Ministry shall in collaboration with the Disability Rights Authority come up with Codes of Conduct and Guidelines to ensure that all type of media (electronic, print, website or any other) respect the private and family life, home, health and correspondence of the PWD. The guidelines must ensure that the media avoids publishing any personal details of a PWD without his/her consent or, any prejudicial or pejorative reference to a person with disability.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, its related agencies and autonomous organisations working under its ambit such as Dental Council of India and Nursing Council of India, shall in collaboration with the Disability Rights Authority frame Code of Conduct and Guidelines to ensure all medical and related information to be protected and no disclosure of such information to be done except with the consent of the person with disability.

Ministry of Urban Development shall in collaboration with the Disability Rights Authority ensure through guidelines, codes and building by laws that the right to personal privacy, privacy in communications and confidentiality of personal records and information for each resident be maintained in all residential setting whether that be home or institutions. It should take steps to ensure that housing options provided by non-state actors must respect the privacy of persons with disabilities.

The Bureau of Civil Aviation shall in collaboration with the Disability Rights Authority evolve special guidelines regarding frisking of PWD so that their physical privacy and bodily modesty is not compromised at any time and accordingly appropriate training to be imparted to the ground staff.

The Ministry of Labour and Employment shall in collaboration with the Disability Rights Authority come up with guidelines for industries to establish with their own codes of privacy and confidentiality for protection of personal information (inclusive of medical information) of PWD.

No information regarding a Person with Disabilities except the one which is required by law shall be put up in public domain without consent in writing from the person with disability.

No person with disability shall be subjected to any pre-employment health screening which directly or indirectly discriminates on the basis of disability.

15 Freedom of Speech Expression and information

In order to promote plurality of opinion and diversity of thought persons with disabilities shall have the freedom to exercise the right to freedom of speech and expression on an equal basis with others;

Any censorship or curtailment of the thought, speech, expression and communication of a person with disability by reason of disability is discrimination and impermissible;

The expression of dissenting opinions by persons with disabilities shall be entitled to the same constitutional respect as is extended to other dissenting voices and any curtailment or gagging of disability dissent is discrimination;

15A Right to Live Independently and in the Community

All persons with disabilities shall have the right to live independently and in the community in order to enable them to grow and develop and have a meaningful life on an equal basis with others.

In order to realize the right recognized in sub section 1 the appropriate government shall launch suitable programs which provide to persons with disabilities choice in place and manner of living, without directing or ordering the person with disabilities to live in any particular living arrangement determined by the state or any other entity.

The appropriate governments shall establish sufficient independent and community living environments, taking into consideration gender needs and to accommodate the choices of persons with disabilities,

Such independent living will be accompanied with access to such support that will permit person with disabilities to fully realize their choice in manner of living, on an equal basis with others

The appropriate governments and Disability Rights Authority shall ensure that community living environments have such provisions and support services and systems, and access to such provisions and support services and systems, that allow for [the choice of] inclusion and participation of the person in general society without any discrimination.

16. Right to Home and Family

Notwithstanding anything contained in the law for the time being in force, every person with disability shall be entitled to solemnise a marriage with a spouse of his or her choice.

A marriage under Section 1 may be solemnised if the following conditions are fulfilled:

Neither party has a spouse living at the time of the marriage;

The bridegroom has completed the age of twenty – one years and the bride has completed the age of eighteen years at the time of marriage;

That the other spouse was aware of the disabilities of the person with disabilities at the time of marriage;

Both spouses consent to the marriage.


1) A marriage under Section 1 shall be void if the conditions under Section 2(i), 2(ii) and 2(iv) were not fulfilled at the time of marriage.

2) A marriage under Section 1 shall be voidable if the conditions under Section 2(iii) were not fulfilled at the time of marriage.

Provided that a marriage under Section 1 shall not be void or voidable solely because one or both of the spouses were people with disabilities at the time of the marriage.

Notwithstanding anything contained in the law for the time being in force, neither party to a marriage shall be granted a decree of divorce based solely on the ground that the other party is a person with disability.

All persons with disabilities shall have the right to decide:

  1. The number of children they have;
  2. The time period between each child.

The Appropriate Government shall ensure that persons with disabilities have access to information regarding family and reproductive planning in order to enable them to take the decisions mentioned in Section 5 (1).

  1. All persons with disabilities, including women and children with disabilities, have a right to retain their fertility.
  2. No person with disabilities shall be subject to any medical procedure which leads to or could lead to infertility without his express consent.

Provided that in cases of medical necessity such medical procedure may be performed on a minor with his parent or guardian’s consent.

Provided further that such medical necessity has to be declared by a qualified medical practitioner.

Subject to the provisions of the Guardians and Wards Act (No. 8 of 1890) every person with disabilities is entitled to apply for an order of guardianship.

Provided that such application shall not be rejected on the basis of the person’s disability.

Notwithstanding anything contained in the law for the time being in force, all persons with disabilities are entitled to adopt a child unless such adoption is not in the best interests of the child.

Notwithstanding anything contained in the law for the time being in force, all persons with disabilities are entitled to give a child in adoption unless such adoption is not in the best interests of the child.

Provided that sub – sections (1) and (2) are inapplicable to a married female Hindu except when her husband has completely and finally renounced the world or has ceased to be a Hindu.

No child with disabilities shall be separated from his parents without at least one parent’s consent unless such separation is declared to be in the best interests of the child by a court of competent authority.

No child shall be separated from his parents solely on the basis of his disability or on the basis of the disability of one or both of the parents.

The Appropriate Government shall initiate programs to provide information, services and support to children with disability and their families

No woman with disability shall be denied or be forced to undertake the roles relating to marriage, family, parenthood, and relationship on the ground of disability.

17. Right to exercise franchise, stand for election and hold public office

Notwithstanding anything contained in the Representation of the People Act (No. 43 of 1950), the Representation of the People Act (No. 43 of 1951) or any other law for the time being in force, every person with disability who is not less than eighteen years of age shall be entitled to be registered as a voter in the constituency in which he is ordinarily resident and shall be entitled to vote in all polls in that constituency.

Notwithstanding anything contained in the law for the time being in force, any person with disability who is unable to give his vote in person due to his disability or because he is admitted in any establishment maintained wholly or mainly for the reception and treatment of persons with mental disabilities at the time the poll is taken shall be entitled to vote either by postal ballot or by proxy and provisions shall be made, by rules made under the Representation of the People Act (No. 43 of 1951) to enable such voting.

Notwithstanding anything contained in the law for the time being in force, no person with disabilities shall be disqualified to be chosen as a representative of the House of People, Council of States, Legislative Assembly of a State and the Legislative Council of State solely on the basis of his disability.

  1. The Election Commission shall ensure that all polling stations are accessible to persons with disabilities and that all materials related to the electoral process are easily understandable by people with disabilities.
  2. Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions contained in sub – section (1), the measures undertaken by the Election Commission in pursuance of that sub – section shall include:
  1. the construction and availability of ramps at all polling booths;
  2.  separate queues for people with disabilities at all polling booths;
  3.  the availability of ballot papers or electronic voting machines with candidates’ information available in Braille;
  4.  training programs to sensitise polling officers about the special requirements of persons with disabilities.

If  the presiding  officer  is  satisfied  that, due to  his disability, a person with disability is unable to recognise the symbols  or to record his vote without  assistance,  the presiding officer shall permit the the  elector to  take  with  him  a companion  of  not  less than eighteen years of age to  the  voting compartment  for recording the vote.

Every person with disability is entitled to form and be a member of any organization or association of his choice.

17A    Programmatic entitlements and definition of Persons with Disability
In this part of the Act for devising programmatic entitlements  “Persons with Disability means persons with autism; blindness, cerebral palsy, deafblindness, dyslexia, low-vision; learning disability, haemophilia, thalassemia, leprosy affected, hearing impairment; speech impairment, locomotor impairment; mental illness, mental retardation; muscular dysprophy, multiple sclerosis, multiple disabilities which in interaction with various barriers prevents full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.

Provided that the Central Government may, by notification, include any other impairment in the above list on the recommendation of an Expert Committee constituted for this purpose with equal representation of subject and experiential experts.

Subsequent to the enactment of this Act, the Central Government shall constitute an Expert body with due representation to experiential experts to devise an appropriate socio medical scale for identifying persons with disabilities who can claim the programmatic entitlements guaranteed in this part.  The appointment of the body and the submission of its report should be so planned that the socio medical scale is available for implementation along with the enforcement of the Act.  

In devising the programmatic entitlement, the appropriate government shall accord due weightage to the intensity of the impairment and the scale of the barrier experienced by the person with disability.  The severity of each impairment and the scale of the barrier experienced by the person with the particular impairment shall be as prescribed.

18 RIGHT TO EDUCATION

18 Definitions

In this Chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
  1. 'capitation fee’ means any kind of donation or fee other than the fee notified by the school;
  2. ‘child’ means a child with disability who is below the age of eighteen years;
  3. ‘guardian’ means a person having care and custody of a child and includes a natural guardian, a guardian appointed by a court or a statute;
  4. ‘neighbourhood school’ is any educational institution providing primary education within a radius of one kilometer or secondary education within a radius of three kilometers which is suitably equipped to provide education to children with disabilities and shall also include schools that are exclusively or dominantly catering to children with disabilities
    In areas with difficult terrain, risk of landslides, floods, lack of roads or any other danger or barrier for children in the approach from their homes to the school, the Appropriate Government shall locate the school in such a manner as to avoid such dangers and barrier, by reducing the above specified limits.
  5. ‘parent’ means either the natural or adoptive or step mother or father of a child;
  6. ‘primary education’ means education from the first class till the eighth class;
  7. ‘screening procedure’ means any method of selection for admission of a child, over another, other than a random method;
  8. ‘secondary education’ means education from the ninth class to the twelfth class;
  9. ‘educator’ includes teachers; trainers; resource persons trained to address the general and particular learning needs of children with disability;

  18A Access to Inclusive Education

Persons with disabilities shall not be excluded from the general education system on the basis of disability, and the appropriate government shall ensure that all persons with disabilities, including women with disabilities, have access to an inclusive education system, without discrimination and on an equal basis with others, at all levels.

The appropriate government shall ensure free and compulsory primary and secondary education to all children with disabilities.

The appropriate government shall ensure that inclusive education is based on lifelong learning aimed at:

  1. The full development of human potential and sense of dignity and self-worth, and the strengthening of respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and human diversity;
  2. The development by persons with disabilities of their personality, talents and creativity, as well as their mental and physical abilities, to their fullest potential;
  3. Enabling persons with disabilities to participate effectively in a free society.

18B Reasonable Accommodation in Education

The Appropriate Government shall ensure that reasonable accommodation of the individual’s requirements is provided at all levels of the education system, taking into consideration their gender specific needs.
The Appropriate Government shall ensure that persons with disabilities receive individualised support, within the general education system, to facilitate their effective education provided in environments that maximize academic and social development, consistent with the goal of full inclusion.
In order to ensure inclusive education for persons with disabilities, the appropriate government shall take appropriate measures, including:
  1. Facilitating the learning of Braille, alternative script, augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication and orientation and mobility skills, and facilitating peer support and mentoring;
  2. Facilitating the learning of sign language and the promotion of the linguistic identity of the deaf community.
  3. Employing teachers, including teachers with disabilities, who are qualified in sign language and/or Braille, and to train professionals and staff who work at all levels of education

18C Entitlements of Children

Every child shall have a right to free and compulsory education in an appropriate neighbourhood school , as chosen by his parents or guardian, between the age of six and eighteen years or until the completion of his secondary education whichever is later.

No child shall be liable to pay any kind of fee, charge or expense which may prevent him from completing his elementary and secondary education.

18 D Right of Admission

If a child has not been admitted to a school at the appropriate age or was admitted but was unable to complete his education due to his disability then such child shall be admitted to a school in a class which is appropriate to his age.

Provided that, where a child is directly admitted to a class appropriate to his age he has a right to suitable training in order to bring him at par with other students of his age.

Provided further, that the aforementioned training will be imparted through means of communication and in a language which the child understands by educators equipped and trained to perform such training.

18E Right of Transfer

Where in a school, there are no facilities to complete primary or secondary education, a child has a right to transfer to another school where such facilities are available.

Where a child is required to transfer from one school to another due to his disability or for any other reason whatsoever, such child shall have a right to seek such transfer and the school where the child was last admitted shall immediately issue a transfer certificate for the said purpose.

Provided that failure to procure or produce a transfer certificate shall not be a ground for delaying or denying admission to the school where the child is transferring.

18F Right to Support

Every child has a right to receive necessary, adequate and appropriate support for the completion of his primary and secondary education.

Every person with disability has the right to receive necessary, adequate and appropriate support for the completion of his or her higher education.

Every child has a right to access all school buildings and the appropriate government has a duty to make school buildings accessible.

Without prejudice to the generality of sub – sections (1), “support” includes but is not limited to:

  1. educational instruction, through l educators who have the requisite qualifications and training to through appropriate means and methods of communication ;;
  2. the free supply of books in formats which the child understands including Braille, plain language, large print etc.;
  3. the free supply of assistive devices required by the child for the completion of his primary or secondary education;
  4. the provision of amanuensis or other technological support for children who require the same by reason of their impairment;
  5. transport facilities to children or in the alternative financial incentives to parents and guardians to enable children to attend school;
  6. scholarships for students with disabilities with preference to girls with disabilities;
  7. extra time to complete tests and examinations as appropriate;
  8. spelling concessions in written assignments, tests and examinations;
  9. exemption from second and third language courses if so desired by the child’s parents or guardian and deemed necessary by the school administration;
  10. suitable technological equipment which assists in the learning of all disciplines including but not limited to mathematics, geography, economics and science courses.

18G Every child below the age of six years has a right to free childhood care and pre - school education.

18H Right to Higher Education

No person with disability, including women with disabilities, shall be denied admission in a Higher Education institution by reason of their disability if they fulfills all the requirements for such admission as amended by this Act or any rules there under.

Provided that, if a person with disability was unable to seek admission to a higher educational institution at or before the age prescribed for such admission then he shall be given admission in such institution if he fulfills all other requirements.

All appropriate governments or educational authorities may if they deem fit to enhance diversity and to promote equality of opportunity may relax according to prescribed procedure the minimum marks required to be obtained by persons with disabilities who seek admission to a higher education institution

For the purpose of sub – section (2) “minimum marks” means:

  1. marks secured in class ten examinations;
  2. marks secured in class twelve examinations;
  3. marks secured in the entrance examination of a particular higher education institution including an entrance examination which, though not administered by the higher education institution, is considered as a criterion for admission; and
  4. any other marks which a higher education institution considers as one of the criteria for admission.

18 I All higher educational institutions shall reserve not less than six percent of the seats in each course for persons with disabilities.

18J Support in Examination

Every person with disability appearing for an entrance examination for any Higher Educational Institution has a right to adequate, necessary and appropriate support for the purposes of such examination.
Without prejudice to the generality of sub – section (1), for the purposes of sub – section (1) “support” means and includes:
  1. the supply of preparatory materials in formats which the person understands including Braille, plain language, large print etc.;
  2. permission to use assistive devices required by the person for the purposes of the examination during the examination;
  3. the provision of amanuensis or other technological support for persons with disabilities who require it;
  4. transport facilities to and from the examination;
  5. extra time to complete the examination as appropriate;
  6. spelling concessions in the evaluation of the examination; and
  7. the use of appropriate technological support for the learning of all subjects including but not limited to mathematics, geography, economics and science courses.

18K Support in Higher Education

Every person with disability who is admitted to a Higher Educational Institution has a right to adequate, necessary and appropriate gender - sensitive support required to complete the course for which he is admitted and for any other extra – curricular and co – curricular activities in which he represents such institution.

Without prejudice to the generality of sub – section (1), for the purposes of sub – section (1) “support” means and includes:

  1. educational instruction, through educators who have the requisite qualifications and training if necessary, in a medium which the person with disability can understand;
  2. the free supply of study material in appropriate formats and through suitable communication;
  3. the free supply of assistive devices required for the completion of the course for which admission has been obtained in the institution;
  4. the provision of amanuensis or other technological support for students children who require the same by reason of their impairment ;
  5. scholarships for students with disabilities;
  6. suitable accommodation to complete tests and examinations as appropriate;
  7. spelling concessions in written assignments, tests and examinations; and
  8. the use of appropriate technological support for the learning of all subjects including but not limited to mathematics, geography, economics and science courses.

18L Qualifications of Teachers

Every school and Higher Educational institution shall have a staff of educators who have the requisite qualifications and training to cater to the needs of students with disabilities.

All educators should be trained to teach a student with disabilities in an inclusive classroom.

18M Duties of Teachers

Such teachers shall:

maintain regularity and punctuality in attending school;

assess the learning ability of each child and accordingly supplement additional instructions, as required; and

hold regular meetings with parents and guardians of children to apprise them of a child’s ability learn, progress in learning and any other relevant information about the child and to allow parents and guardians to make suggestions about the child’s learning ability and progress.

18N Facilities in School

Every school shall maintain such suitable Pupil – Teacher ratio between students with disabilities and educators who have the requisite qualifications and training as may be prescribed . In determining the ratio the appropriate authority shall ensure that the ratio should be so specified that it enables persons with disabilities to reach the goals of education specified in this chapter.

18O Local Survey

Subsequent to the enactment of this Act and before its enforcement the appropriate government shall conduct local level surveys throughout the country in order to determine the physical presence of children with disabilities and to devise educational plans for the establishment of suitable neighbourhood schools;

18P Establishment of Neighbourhood School

For carrying out the provisions of this Act, the appropriate Government shall establish within such area or limits of a neighbourhood as may be prescribed and such neighbourhood schools shall be equipped to provide education to all persons with disabilities in the vicinity of the school; and along with the establishment of the schools the appropriate government shall:
  1. Develop and enforce standards for training educators to teach children with disabilities ;
  2. Ensure availability of suitable neighbourhood schools for all children with disabilities;
  3. Provide infrastructure including school buildings, , educators who have the requisite qualifications and training to teach children with disabilities; learning materials and any materials required to support a child with disability in the completion of his primary and secondary education;
  4. Ensure and monitor the admission, attendance and completion of elementary and secondary education of every child;
  5. Provide training facilities for teachers such that they are trained to cater to the needs of children with disabilities;
  6. Establish an adequate number of teacher training institutions and assist the national institutes and other voluntary organizations to develop teacher training programs specializing in training special educators so that the requisite special educators are available for students with disabilities; teacher training institutes which are equipped to train special educators;
  7. Ensure the availability of a sufficient number of educators who have the requisite qualifications and training to teach persons with disabilities;
  8. Develop and establish an inclusive B.Ed. course which trains all teachers to cater to the needs of a child with disability in an inclusive classroom; and
  9. Initiate or cause to be initiated research by official and non – governmental agencies for the purpose of designing and developing new assistive devices, teaching aid, special teaching materials, or such other items as are necessary to give a child or person with disability the support required to complete his or her education.

18Q Duty Of Parent

It shall be the duty of every parent or guardian to admit or cause to be admitted his or her child or ward, as the case may be, to a suitable neighbourhood school, as chosen by the parent or guardian for the purposes of completion of the child’s primary and secondary education.

18R Duty of School

No school or person shall, while admitting a child, collect any capitation fee and subject the child or his parents or guardian to any screening procedure.

18S Presumption in relation to Age

For the purposes of admission, the age of a child shall be determined on the basis of the birth certificate issued in accordance with the provisions of the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1886 or on the basis of any other document which may be prescribed.

No child shall be denied admission in a school due to the lack of age proof.

18T Admission in School

A child shall be admitted in a school at the commencement of the academic year or within such extended period as prescribed.

Provided that, no child shall be denied admission if such admission is sought subsequent to the extended period.

18U No detention

No child, who is admitted in a school, shall be held back in a class or expelled from school prior to the completion of primary and secondary education.

18V Prohibition on Corporal Punishment

No child shall be subject to physical punishment or mental harassment by reason of the disability or be denied reasonable accommodation or be subjected to any other kind of direct or indirect discrimination;

18W School Management Committees

Parents or guardians of children with disabilities shall be members of the School Management Committees established under Section 21 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

School Management Committees shall be established in all neighbourhood schools and the percentage of parents or guardians of students with disabilities on such committees shall be proportionate to the ratio of such students in the school.

Provided that in no case shall less than two such parents or guardians will on the Committee

18X School Development Plan

All School Development Plans prepared under sub – section (1) of Section 22 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 shall state all requirements which are needed to:
  1. Make the school buildings accessible;
  2. Provide support to children as mentioned in Section [Add Section Number]; and
  3. Any other requirements which are necessary for children with disabilities.

18Y Establishment of the Education Reform Commission

There shall be established an Education Reform Commission for such period of time, not less than three years, as the central government may by notification provide.

The Commission shall, to the maximum extent possible, involve an effective participation of all stakeholders in the process of formulation, implementation and monitoring of the curriculum and related programmes and policies, including disabled and non-disabled children, teachers and parents.

The terms of reference of the Education Reform Commission shall be:

To review the existing curriculum being adopted in schools from the standpoint of persons with disabilities and their lived experiences;

To develop an inclusive curriculum based on the principles of non-discrimination and appreciation of diversity and tolerance;

To make recommendations on the pedagogical methodology to be adopted for the teaching to and learning by persons with disabilities of such inclusive curriculum;

To suggest measures for the adoption and integration of the inclusive curriculum in mainstream education and to monitor the progress;

Make such other recommendations as the Commission may consider necessary.

The Commission may initiate studies and analysis or take any other measures that may be necessary for performing any function in relation to its terms of reference.

EMPLOYMENT, WORK AND OCCUPATION

19 Non Discrimination in Employment

No person with disability shall face discrimination in recruitment, promotion, and other related matters arising in the course of or through the length of employment, in any Establishment.

No person shall be dismissed or suffer any reduction in rank solely on the grounds of acquiring any disability, or any consequences thereof.

Provided that if any employee is placed under undue stress or disadvantage in the usual course of employment as a result of the disability, such employee will be eligible for a post at the same rank with adequate support.

All establishments shall facilitate reasonable accommodation of Persons with Disability by taking adequate measures are to guarantee that Persons with Disability are not disadvantaged in any manner at any stage of employment.

‘Adequate Facilities’ include, but are not limited to the provision of necessary aids and equipment, adequate healthcare facilities, necessary physical changes in buildings to ensure accessibility at workplaces, continuous monitoring with regard to necessary support, or any arrangements or facilities created for equality with regard to competitive public service examinations and other such service related tests.

Any Person with Disability, if eligible for any post which is sought to be filled, shall have the right to appear for selection and hold the post if selected.

All establishments shall ensure that, in the situation that a Persons with Disability is transferred in the course of employment, in accordance with due process under this Act and the applicable labour legislation, failure to comply with such transfer on grounds of inconvenience due to disability will not be a cause, whether directly or indirectly, for any dismissal, demotion, or withholding of emoluments.

In the event that such Person with Disability accepts such transfer, reasonable accommodation must be made for ensuring that there is no undue hardship.

The Appropriate Government may frame such rules and regulations as may be necessary from time to time for the purposes of achieving the objectives hereinabove outlined

19A Reservation

All establishments shall reserve not less than six percent, of vacancies arising against all posts for all persons with disabilities in accordance with the following banding of disabilities, with each band being entitled to 1%

Persons with blindness and low vision

Persons with hearing impairment and speech impairment

Persons with locomotor disability, leprosy arrested,

Persons with Cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy

Persons with autism, intellectual disability and mental illness

Persons with multiple disabilities, deaf-blindness, multiple sclerosis.

The percentage stated can be renewed and the classification altered upon review, once every 3 years.

If sufficient number of qualified Persons with Disability are not available in a particular year, then the reservation may be carried forward to the subsequent year, provided that, under no circumstances shall the carry forward period be allowed to exceed 3 calendar years.

Explanation

This provision also extends to schemes guaranteeing employment, or the creation of posts for employment, by way of any legislation, notification or rule formulated by the Appropriate Government, including but not limited to the NREGA.

19B No Discrimination in Promotion on Grounds of Disability

No person with disability shall be denied promotion by reason of disability

Denial of promotion on grounds of promotion shall constitute discrimination

Upon investigation by the Disability Rights Authority if the absence of upward mobility of persons with disability is established, then in addition to entry level reservation, the Appropriate Government may make provision for reservation in matters of promotion, with attendant seniority benefits, to all such class or classes of posts where there is an under-representation of persons with disabilities

19C Equal Opportunity Policies

Subject to the requirements of section 62 of this Act within six months of the commencement of this legislation, all establishments shall put in place an Equal Opportunity Policy detailing measures and commitments initiated by the establishment in pursuance of the provisions of this Chapter and any such Rules thereof.

An equal opportunity policy shall

  1. delineate measures taken in order to comply with the provisions of the Act;
  2. strategies being employed to increase employment opportunities with specific attention of all schemes and reasonable accommodation measures.

The Disability Rights Authority may if it deems fit, devise the form and structure of Equal Opportunities Policies.

Once formulated, a copy of the Equal Opportunity Policy shall be deposited and registered with the office of the District Disability Commission in every Districts.

19 D Maintenance of Records

Every establishment shall maintain records in relation to employment, facilities provided and other necessary information with regard to compliance with the provisions of this Chapter in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed by the appropriate government.

Any person authorized by the Disability Rights Authority may inspect the records during the working hours of the establishment.

19E No Removal or Reduction of Rank on Acquiring Disability

All establishments and employers as the case shall arrange for the rehabilitation of an employee who acquires a disability during the course of service;

No establishment shall remove or reduce in rank any employee who acquires a disability during the course of service;

The establishment shall provide reasonable accommodation to enable the employee to resume the job he was doing in the organization before acquiring the disability;

If the employee cannot function on the same post even with the provision of reasonable accommodation then the establishment shall relocate the employee to a suitable post on which the employee can perform whether with or without reasonable accommodation

If after the location and relocation procedures outlined n sub-section (3) and (4) prove unsuccessful then the employee may be kept on a supernumerary post until a suitable post is available or till the age of superannuation which ever is earlier.

19 F Vocational Training, Rehabilitation and Self-Employment

The Appropriate Government shall take all necessary measures with respect to formulation of schemes and programmes to facilitate and support employment of persons with disability, with special reference to self-employment and vocational training of Persons with Disability.

The Appropriate Government shall, within six months of the commencement of the Act, formulate microfinance schemes and provide adequate loans at concessional rates to Persons with Disability in order to facilitate self-employment schemes.

If, in the opinion of the person recruited, there is a need to impart specific training prior to recruitment in order to ensure that a person with disability has adequate support, then such facilities should be made available.

19 G Incentives to Establishment

The appropriate Governments and the local authorities shall, provide incentives to all establishments to ensure that at least ten per cent of their work force is composed of persons with disabilities.

19 H Grievance Redressal

Each establishment shall as part of their Employment policy set up a grievance redressal cell. The officer-in-charge of such grievance redressal cell shall be termed the Grievance Redressal Officer, and shall be registered with the Office of the Disability Commissioner in each District.

Any person may register a complaint with the grievance redressal officer, who shall maintain a register of complaints in the manner prescribed by the Appropriate Government, and any such complaint shall be looked into within two weeks of such registration.

If the Grievance Redressal Officer fails to address the complaint within two weeks of being registered, then the person with disability may approach the District Disability Commissioner against such neglect.

20 Right to Social Security

In furtherance of the right to life and living elaborated in section 53 and the right to live independently and in the community in section 64 of this Act, all persons with disabilities shall have a right to social security which includes but is not limited to securing adequate standard of living for persons with disability and their families in terms of food security, shelter, housing, social care, pension, unemployment allowance and insurance.

The Appropriate Governments Local Authorities shall promulgate necessary programmes and/or plans to safeguard and promote the realization of the rights of persons with disability recognized in sub-section (1) to provide adequate standard of living and improve their living conditions to enable them to live independently and in the community; In devising these plans and programmes the diversity of disability; gender; age; and socio-economic status shall be relevant considerations.

These plans shall inter alia provide for:

  1. safe and hygienic community centres with decent living conditions in terms of nutritional food, sanitation, health care and counselling;
  2. facilities for persons with disabilities who have no families, shelter or livelihood;
  3. support required during times of natural or man-made calamities and in areas of conflict;
  4. social care to women with disabilities who have no livelihood; and family support for upbringing of their children
  5. subsidized ration cards for all persons with disabilities who apply for them;
  6. access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation facilities especially in rural areas

The appropriate government shall formulate schemes to provide for social security benefits and aids and appliances without cost to persons with disabilities with high support needs;

Any refusal of insurance on the basis of disability is unlawful. Any rule in standard form contacts that persons with disabilities constitute higher or unacceptable risk constitutes discrimination and is invalidated; and any practice to that effect stands invalidated;

In furtherance of right to live independently and in the community, the Appropriate government shall inter alia;

Formulate constituency appropriate disability pension scheme whereby higher support is provided to those persons with disabilities who require enhanced attention;

Suitably amend the subordinate legislation to make the procedure of claiming pension by children with disabilities simple and expeditious;

Provide an unemployment allowance to all unemployed persons with disabilities, proportionate to a uniformly applied standard of qualification and skill; irrespective of the tenure of registration with employment exchanges.

organise special camps at Gram Panchayat level, at least once a year, to give information on and to introduce persons with disabilities to various government schemes.

The Appropriate Government shall, in furtherance of the right to habilitation and rehabilitation and the right to living independently, provide for reservation and preferential allotment to persons with disability,

ensure that not less than five percent of the beneficiaries, in all poverty alleviation and various developmental schemes, shall be persons with disability with priority to women and senior citizens with disabilities.

provide for preferential and concessional allotment of accessible housing, not less than 5 percent, in all government housing schemes and /or urban or rural development programmes of the Government, to persons with disabilities with priority to women with disabilities and senior citizens with disabilities

provide for preferential and concessional allotment of land, not less than 10 percent, where such land shall be used for the purpose of promoting housing, shelter, setting of occupations, businesses, enterprises, self help groups, gainful occupations, recreation centers, production centers exclusively for person with disability whether or not just facilities are owned and managed by persons with disabilities.

To provide incentives to house owners to lease rent house property to persons with disability for residential purposes.

21 Right to Health

All persons with disability have the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination on the basis of disability;

All persons with disabilities have the right to obtain health care in accessible environments through accessible procedures and with reasonable accommodation;

The appropriate governments shall ensure that all health care rights, entitlements and benefits are universally available with due consideration accorded to gender, age and socio-economic status

Persons with disabilities should be provided quality but free or affordable health care as close to their communities particularly in the rural areas;

The appropriate governments shall establish health services needed by persons with disabilities specifically because of their disabilities including provision for early identification and intervention;

In fulfillment of its obligation under this section the appropriate governments shall make schemes and programs with the participation and involvement of service users and their carers that inter alia makes provision

  1. for the minimization and prevention of further disabilities with requisite education and information;
  2. for the health care of persons with disabilities during times of natural disasters and other situations of risk ;
  3. for disability specific equipments and accessible infrastructure at all health care centrse; places of public importance; and all other such places that may be notified by the Appropriate Government from time to time;
  4. for ‘essential medical facilities’ for all life saving emergency treatment and procedures;
  5. for sexual and and reproductive health especially of women with disabilities;
  6. for access to all Primary Care services especially within rural areas
  7. for subsidized and where necessary, free treatment and medical services for weaker and indigent sections;
  8. for coverage of medical expenses, travel allowances, therapy – as part of the comprehensive insurance scheme for persons with disabilities;

21 A All establishments shall provide health and life insurance to persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others;

The denial of such insurance or its provision on disproportionate premiums or inequitous conditions would be seen as discrimination and proceeded with accordingly.

21 B Ethical Guidelines

All health professionals shall not discriminate against persons with disabilities in the observance of ethical guidelines on informed consent and confidentiality whilst providing health care and other services to persons with disabilities;

Without prejudice to the general obligation stated in sub-section (1) all health care professionals shall when making impairment specific interventions take special care to provide complete information to persons with disabilities and through accessible modes, methods and formats;

Any negligent departure from the guidelines could invite action for professional misconduct or poor and inadequate service;

The medical practice guidelines could be suitably revised to incorporate accessible procedures of communicating with persons with disabilities and to delete any prejudicial references.

21C The Disability Rights Authority undertake to carry out sensitization and awareness-raising of all care-givers, service-users, as also the community at large as to the human rights, dignity, autonomy and needs of persons with disabilities;

21D Prohibition on Denial of Food and Fluids

The denial of foods and fluids to persons with disabilities including infants with disabilities by reason of their disability is hereby prohibited;

Any person found to either deny food and fluids to any person with disability or to aid and abet in such denial shall be liable to criminal prosecution for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

22. Right to habilitation and rehabilitation

In furtherance of the right to life and living elaborated in section 53 of this Act generally and clause (d) of sub-section 2 more particularly all persons with disabilities have a right to habilitation and rehabilitation in order to realize the rights guaranteed under this Act

Explanation

Habilitation is a process by which persons born with impairments learn living skills; whereas rehabilitation generally applies to someone who has to readapt to society after acquiring an impairment.

In furtherance of the right recognized in sub-section (1) the Appropriate Governments Local Authorities shall take effective and appropriate measures to enable people with disabilities to maximize their physical, mental, personal. social, educational, vocational and professional abilities to enable them to live a full and inclusive life. In devising these measures the diversity of disability; gender; age; and socio-economic status shall be relevant considerations.

Without prejudice to the generality of the obligation in sub-section (2), in order to ensure that children with disability have the same life development opportunities as other children, the appropriate government and local authorities shall formulate habilitation plans for children with disabilities with strategies for ensuring that it starts as early as possible.

These plans shall inter alia provide for

Parents of infants and young children with disabilities receive appropriate support and guidance to be able to perform their parenting responsibilities;

Children and young persons with disabilities are depending upon the nature of impairment are trained and supported in self care and self reliance;

Promote total communication among children and adults with different types of impairments

Provide social skills training and social networking between children with disabilities; other children; extended family and larger community;

Allow for therapeutic, surgical or other corrective interventions as also make provision for aids and appliance

Ensure provision of adequate training in mobility, orientation of environment, use of assistive devices and application of technology.

In order to ensure that every child with disability obtains access to habilitation at the earliest possible time the appropriate government and local authorities shall proactively map the presence of infants and children with disabilities;

disseminate information on nature of disabilities and the plan of habilitation to the community generally ; and to community workers; doctors; teachers more particularly.

The habilitation plan shall have a dynamic approach and would change in its interventions and outcomes in accordance with the age, gender, local environment and functional goals of the person with disabilities;

Every person with disability shall have the right to take a decision with their own habilitation plan; and due consideration should be given to the evolving capacity of children in supporting and obtaining their participation.

22 A Right to rehabilitation

All persons have the right to live a full and meaningful life independent of the age, manner and place at which they acquire an impairment and irrespective of the nature of the impairment;

In furtherance of this right to life and living all persons with disabilities have a right to peer, professional, community and state support to resume and continue their personal, social, economic and political participation on an equal basis with others;

In enforcement of this abovementioned right to rehabilitation the appropriate governments and local authorities shall put in place suitable peer and professional intervention enable the person with disabilities to accept the altered nature of their mind and body;

All persons with disabilities would have a right to be provided aids and appliances of recognized quality at an affordable cost along with the requisite training to utilize it;

Every person with disability would have the right to be informed of the various rehabilitation options though the final decision on the course of rehabilitation shall be with the person with disability;

22B Research and Development

The Appropriate Governments and the Disability Rights Authority shall initiate or cause to initiate research and development through individuals and institutions on issues which would enhance the habilitation and rehabilitation processes for persons with disabilities. 

23 Participation in Cultural Life, Leisure, Recreation and Sports


Persons with disabilities have a right on an equal basis with others to participate in cultural life, leisure, recreation and sports. No person will be denied access to and participation in sports, cultural, recreation and other co-curricular and extra-curricular activities on grounds of disabilities.

The Appropriate Government and local authorities shall take appropriate measures to guarantee effective participation and access to cultural life, sporting and recreational activities for persons with disabilities.

The Appropriate Government and local authorities shall take appropriate measures to promote and encourage the participation of persons with disabilities in mainstream sporting, recreational and cultural activities for the development and utilization of their cultural, artistic and intellectual potential. It shall also take appropriate measures to promote integrated sporting, leisure and cultural activities


For effective inclusion of persons with disabilities.

Without prejudice to the general obligation stated in sub-section (2) and (3), the Appropriate Government shall take specific measures for the effective participation in cultural life, recreation and sports which shall include:

Redesigning courses in cultural and arts subject to include participation and access for persons with disabilities.

Specific programmes for encouraging and developing literature and art relating to persons with disabilities like music, dramatics, theatre and languages.

Designing programmes for developing sports facilities, events, recreational activities, games etc. to include persons with disabilities.

Developing technology to guarantee access and inclusion for persons with disabilities in recreational and sporting activities.

Include multi-sensory essentials and features for all sporting and recreational activities.

Special allocation of funds for the development and better utilization of existing facilities to include persons with disabilities.

Adequate measures for promoting and organizing disability specific events for persons with disabilities.

Children with disabilities shall have equal access with others and right to participate in sporting, recreational and leisure activities, including activities organized in school.

Part V DISABILITY RIGHTS AUTHORITIES

24 Establishment and Incorporation

There shall be established, for the purposes of promoting, protecting and ensuring the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons with disabilities; an Authority which shall be called the Disability Rights Authority (hereinafter referred to as DRA);

DRA shall be a body corporate by the name aforesaid, having perpetual succession and a common seal, with power subject to the provisions of this Act, to acquire, hold and dispose of property, both movable and immovable, and to contract, and shall, by the said name, sue or be sued;

DRA shall have its head and seat in New Delhi, with regional presence, as may be prescribed.

24A Composition and Management of the Authority

DRA shall consist of a Chairperson and Governing Board comprising of 21 full-time members of which two-third members who shall be persons with disabilities, or family members of persons with disabilities; the remaining one-third members shall be duty bearers. The Chairperson shall be elected by the members of the Governing Board from amongst themselves;

The members of the Governing Board shall initially have a tenure of five years and after the completion of first five years, a tenure for three years and no person shall be appointed as member of DRA for more than two consecutive terms and shall be eligible for re-election thrice;

DRA shall operate through an Executive Board which shall be constituted from amongst the members of the Governing Board by such procedure as may be prescribed;

The Executive Board shall consist of the Chairperson and nine other members. The Chairperson of the Governing Board shall be the Chairperson ex-officio of the Executive Board; Of the nine other members: four members shall be representatives of persons with disabilities; two members shall be representatives of Government; and one member shall represent the private sector. The Chairperson of the Finance Board; an ex-officio member and the Chairperson of the National Trust and the Chairperson of the Rehabilitation Council of India shall be ex-officio members;

The general superintendence, direction and management of the affairs of DRA shall vest in The Executive Board of members, which may exercise all powers and do all acts and things which may be exercised or done by DRA.

24B Appointment of members to the Governing Board

The two-third members of the Governing Board, representing persons with disability, shall be appointed by way of an election;

The electoral collage shall comprise of persons with disabilities, all organizations of persons with disabilities, the organizations of families of persons with disability and organizations working for the rights of persons with disability which are registered under this Act by such procedure as may be prescribed to elect the fourteen members to the Governing Board who shall represent the rights, interests and concerns of persons with disabilities;

The remaining one-third members of the Governing Board, representing duty bearers, shall be appointed by way of nomination;

Four members, not below the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India and nominated by the Government representing the Ministries or Departments of Social Justice and Empowerment, Health and Family Welfare, Labor and Education shall be appointed;

Two members from the private sector may be invited by the elected Board members of the on the basis of their demonstrated performance and interest in disability rights. They may be from the fields of trade, industry, education and health.

24C Appointment of Chairperson

The members of the Governing Board on the date of their first meeting, shall elect, by simple majority a Chairperson from among themselves;

The Chairperson will convene and chair the subsequent meetings of the Governing Board, except in the case that the Chairperson is not present or such office is vacant in which case the members who are present shall choose one of their members to chair the meeting;

The Chairperson of DRA shall cease to hold such office if he or she ceases to be a member of the Governing Board.

24 D Establishment of Empowerment Fund for Persons with Disability

There shall be constituted for the purposes of this Act, a Fund to be called the Empowerment Fund for Persons with Disabilities and there shall be credited there to:

  1. all moneys payable by banks, corporations, etc., in pursuance of judgment dated 16.04.2004 of the Supreme Court in Civil Appeal No.4655 and 5218 of 2000;
  2. all moneys received from the Central Government;
  3. all moneys received by the Fund by way of grant, gifts, donations, beneficiations, bequests or transfers; and
  4. all moneys received by the fund in any other manner or from any other source.

24 E Dissolution of Erstwhile National Fund for Persons with Disabilities and transfer of their rights, assets and liabilities to the Empowerment Fund for Persons with Disability.

On and from the date of the constitution of the Empowerment Fund for Persons with Disability in accordance with Section 73E , the Erstwhile National Fund for Persons with Disabilities shall stand dissolved, and on such dissolution –

  1. all properties and assets, movable and immovable, of, or belonging to the dissolved fund shall vest in the Empowerment Fund for Persons with Disabilities.
  2. (b) all rights and liabilities of the dissolved fund shall be transferred to, and be the rights and liabilities of the Empowerment Fund for Persons with Disability
  3. without prejudice to the provisions of clause (b) all liabilities incurred, all contracts entered into, and all matters and things engaged to be done by, with or for the dissolved Fund, shall be deemed, as the case may be, to have been incurred, entered into, or engaged to be done by, with or for, the Empowerment Fund for Persons with Disability.
  4. all sums of money due to the two dissolved Fund immediately before their dissolution shall be deemed to be due to Empowered Fund for Persons with Disability;
  5. all suits and other legal proceedings instituted or which could have been instituted by or against the dissolved Fund immediately before their dissolution may be continued or may be instituted by or against the Empowered Fund for Persons with Disability

24F Functions of the Authority

Subject to the provisions of this Act, it shall be the duty of DRA to promote, protect and enforce the rights of persons with disability by such measures as it thinks fit.
Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions, the measures referred to therein may provide for –
  1. developing and implementing effective and comprehensive national policy, legislative and regulatory framework to address issues faced by persons with disabilities
  2. monitoring the law on a continuous basis, by reviewing and evaluating legislations, policies, rules, bye-laws, programmes, and notifications at the Union, State and local level and other legal instruments for their conformity with rights of persons with disability
  3. preparing and publishing a Plan of Action within three months of the date of coming into force of this Act that shall identify principles and priorities, list out the activities to be undertaken by DRA for a two-year period and shall be reviewed and revised as and when necessary.
  4. developing and conducting information programmes to foster public understanding of this Act, the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the role and activities of DRA, thereby sensitizing and raising awareness throughout society, including at the family level, regarding persons with disabilities, and foster respect for the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities
  5. promoting understanding, capacity building and encouraging good practices by forging partnerships with public and private sector organisations, employers and service providers, NGOs, individuals by delivering timely, accessible and authoritative guidance on the law, while encouraging the exchange and development of best practice and consultation.
  6. undertaking research, collecting data and materials relating to persons with disabilities and engaging in its dissemination to promote evidence based understanding of disability rights in different sectors
  7. addressing any series of grievances that raise systemic issues pertaining to full and effective realization of rights of persons with disabilities
  8. bringing proceedings in a competent court or tribunal in its own name, or on behalf of a person or a group or class of persons including assistance in terms of fact-finding and research to strengthen the process of Public Interest Litigation; assisting any court in the interpretation of this Act or determination of any issue relating to rights of persons with disabilities and playing a proactive role in ensuring access to justice as well as facilitating mediation and conciliation
  9. inquiring , suo motu, into any structural violation of rights of persons with disabilities on the basis of the feedback received from the Commissioners for Persons with Disabilities and investigating into specific complaints of any large-scale denial of rights of persons with disabilities
  10. presenting a comprehensive annual report to the Parliament on its working along with the audited statement of accounts and also publish the report on its website; making impact assessment thereby measuring the performance against standards set and identifying the missed opportunities.
  11. issuing legally binding Statutory Code of Practice to set out the standards of practice and regulations
  12. calling from or furnishing to or exchanging any relevant information with any such agencies, regulatory authorities or enforcement bodies, as may be specified, such information as may be considered necessary by it for the efficient discharge of its functions
  13. performing any other functions that are incidental and ancillary to the above functions and which will facilitate the discharge of such functions Powers of the Authority

24G Power to make rules and regulations

DRA may, by notification, make rules and regulations consistent with this Act and the rules made thereunder to carry out the purposes of this Act.

In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such regulations may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely,

  1. the times and places of meetings of DRA and the procedure to be followed at such meetings including quorum necessary for the transaction of business shall be prescribed by regulations formulated in this regards;
  2. the terms and other conditions of service, tenure,emoluments, removal and resignation of officers and employees of DRA shall be prescribed by rules formulated in this regards.

24H Power to Issue Statutory Code of Practice creating legal obligations

DRA shall issue codes of practice on the manner in which disability rights consonant service may be provided in amongst others the following areas:

Health Care

Social security including housing, banking and finance , insurance and any other related matter

Work employment and occupation

Habilitation and Rehabilitation,

Accessibility including physical, infrastructure, virtual, transportation. leisure, culture and sport and any other related matter

The Statutory Codes of Practice mentioned under subsection (1) shall be legally binding on the regulated entities; it shall be so formulated as to obtain compliance of the regulated entities and shall be promoting equality of opportunity;

All regulated entities have a duty to comply with the provision of the Statutory Code of Practice; any failure to comply with this duty shall invite action for enforcement action;

The Disability Rights Authority has the power to initiate such enforcement action in cases of evident neglect, or constant dereliction from duty or any other circumstances that it deems fit.

24 I Power to Review Existing and Proposed Legislation, Administrative Directives & Procedures and Schemes

DRA may suo motu or on request of any person, organization or ministry, undertake a review of any existing or proposed legislation, scheme, administrative directive or any administrative procedure of the Central or State Government which is or is likely to adversely impact the rights of persons with disabilities or violate any provision of this Act;

DRA shall prepare a report subsequent to the completion of the review and if it finds necessary, submit this report with recommendations to the concerned Government or ministry

24 J Power of Compulsory Consultative Process

Where DRA is of the opinion or has reasonable grounds to believe that the legal instrument has inadequately recognized or inadequately substantiated on the rights of persons with disability, it shall issue a set of guidelines to the relevant state machinery, to bring the legal instrument in conformity with the rights of persons with disability, and thereafter, the legal instrument shall be subject to a compulsory consultative process between DRA and the state machinery.

The relevant state machinery shall file a written reply to the guidelines within thirty days of its receipt.

Where the relevant state machinery disagrees with the guidelines, it shall file a written in the reply citing reasons and grounds of disagreement. Subsequent to the filing of the written reply, a meeting shall be convened between the relevant state machinery and DRA to discuss and debate, and seek to reach a consensus.

The proceedings of this meeting shall be recorded and be open to public

24K Power of Suo Moto Investigation to Determine Cases of Structural Violation of Rights of Persons with Disabilities

DRA shall conduct a Disability Discrimination and Harassment Inquiry by requiring evidence to be provided regarding any systematic violation of disability rights from various stakeholders.
DRA shall consult all relevant stakeholders by soliciting written submissions and by organizing meetings and public hearings with individuals and representatives of organizations involved in disability rights issues.
DRA shall conduct a national survey through a questionnaire which would be in accessible format and ask the respondents about the manner in which the denial of disability rights happened.
DRA shall on the basis of the Inquiry and the National Survey, identify areas, organizations and policies that are leading to structural denial of rights and record the discriminatory practices and rules in a report.
For the purpose of conducting any investigation, DRA may utilize the services of any officer or investigation agency of the Central Government or any State Government with the concurrence of the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be.
For the purpose of investigating into any matter pertaining to the inquiry, any officer or agency whose services are utilized under sub-section (i) may, subject to the direction and control of DRA:
  1. summon and enforce the attendance of any person and examine him;
  2. require the discovery and production of any document; and
  3. requisition any public record or copy thereof from any office.

24L Power to Conduct Inquiry in case of Petition, Complaint or Non-compliance with Statutory Code of PracticeDRA while inquiring into any petition, complaint or non-compliance of the Code, may call for information or report from the Central or State Government or any other person or organization within such time as may be specified by it;

While inquiring into complaints under the Act, DRA shall have all the powers of a civil court trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, and in particular enjoy the following powers, namely;

  1. summoning and enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath;
  2. iscovery and production of any document;
  3. receiving evidence on affidavits;
  4. requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office;
  5. issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents;
  6. any other matter which may be prescribed.

DRA may, while investigating a complaint, make written requests for information, interview people, review documents or visit the premises to determine whether or not any violation of rights of persons with disabilities is happening under this Act;

DRA shall make its determination in case of a complaint as promptly as possible from the filing of the complaint and record the same in a report.

24M Power to take Steps after Completion of Investigation or Inquiry

DRA may take any of the following steps during or upon the completion of an inquiry or investigation held under S.23L or S.23M under this Act, namely

DRA shall issue a declaration on the basis of the report, identifying and detailing the nature of discrimination, and the manner in which rights of persons with disabilities have been collectively violated and provide a copy of this declaration to the party whose conduct is found to be discriminatory;

DRA shall have the power to serve a compliance notice requiring compliance with the duty or providing an opportunity to develop a written proposal to show the steps that will be taken to ensure compliance. This written information must be produced to DRA within 28 days of receipt of the compliance notice.

A notice may also require further information to be produced to DRA for the purposes of assessing compliance;

An entity who receives a compliance notice must comply with it. Failure to comply can result in DRA imposing sanctions and penalties for requiring compliance.

DRA, may where it considers feasible, endeavour to eliminate any discriminatory practice by informal methods of mediation and conciliation;

In case of discrimination by a state agency, the DRA may if it considers that may be a more expeditious and sustainable method of obtaining compliance approach the responsible state agency and afford it the opportunity to choose the means of compliance with the disability rights in question; this option is without prejudice to the DRA obtaining compliance through other coercive procedures.

The DRA may at any stage of the inquiry recommend the initiation of civil or criminal proceedings as it deems fit to the concerned Government or authority against the party or parties

Provided that in case the DRA makes a recommendation to the concerned Government, the Government shall either proactively act to prevent discrimination or a report shall be submitted from the office of the Law Officer of the concerned Government detailing the reason for the action not taken. Upon neither action happening the DRA would be free to initiate suitable legal action against the derelict parties.

DRA, shall have an option to enter into a formal agreement with an entity, against whom any inquiry under Section Sec.73M is being conducted, whereby an action plan for compliance shall be formulated.

DRA may, on the basis of the agreement and after being fully satisfied on the undertaking by the entity to take appropriate action and measures for compliance, suspend an Investigation.

The DRA shall monitor the phase of agreement in close working relationship with utmost co-operation and goodwill and shall require the organisation to report regularly on progress.

24 N Power to impose Penalties and Sanctions

Where the DRA is of the opinion or has reasonable grounds to believe that such entity against whom, Inquiry under Sec. 23 M or Investigation under Section 23 L has been conducted;

has wilfully failed to comply with the recommendations issued after the inquiry and investigation,

or has failed to comply with the compliance notice issued under sub-section (2) of Section 23 N

or has failed to implement the agreement and action plan under sub-section (8) of Section 23 N.

or where the DRA has reason to believe that the offender is habitually non-complaint and has no intention, whatsoever to comply with the duties under the Act may impose Penalties and Sanctions under the provisions of Statutory Code of practice read with the provisions of Chapter on Penalties under Sec....

Where a continuance breach under this Act has been committed by a regulated entity, every person who at the time the breach continued was in charge of, and was responsible to, the regulated entity for the conduct of its business and/or management, functioning, or had been the Managing Director, Secretary, shall be deemed to be guilty of the non-compliance and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any punishment provided in this Act, if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.

DRA shall, in tandem with the relevant regulators in the respective sector, take further action and impose sanctions and penalties as shall be spelt out in the Statutory Code of Practice in the form of derecognition, cancellation/impounding of license of trade, ‘naming and shaming’.

24 O Power to Facilitate Mediation and Conciliation

The DRA shall keep a record of accessible mediation and conciliation centres and have the duty to ensure that any person with disability willing to resolve disputes through these processes has access to suitable institutions

The DRA shall have the duty to engage with and establish ties with Conciliation and Mediation centres in all regions of the Country, including the International Centre for Alternate Dispute Resolution on issues regarding the rights of persons with disabilities and the provisions of this Act

The DRA shall have the duty to organize and conduct training programs, workshops and seminars for mediators and conciliators on resolving disputes involving persons with disabilities

24 P Power to Associate, Co-ordinate with Individuals and Organization

  1. DRA shall, by way of signing of Memorandum of Understanding, agreements, engaging in active partnerships or any other manner; to associate itself with any person, organization, regulatory authority or authorities whose assistance and advice is desirable for carrying out the purposes of the Commission.
  2. DRA may, constitute Working Groups in specific areas and regions of the Country for the purpose of carrying out its functions and duties efficiently.

24 Q Power to Approach the Court, Intervene in Court Proceedings and Provide Legal Assistance

Where DRA, after an inquiry under Section 73 M or investigation under Section 73 N discovers a collective denial of rights to persons with disabilities due to any discriminatory content in a law, policy or practice, or a systemic violation of the provisions of this Act, shall have the power to approach the Supreme Court or the High Court for directions, orders or writs.

The DRA shall have the power to intervene as amicus curiae in any proceeding involving an allegation of violation of rights of persons with disabilities pending before a competent court with the approval of such court.

The DRA shall act to ensure the provision of legal aid under the Legal Services Authority Act 1987 for a person with disability otherwise eligible for legal aid.

24R Establishment of Committees and Commissions

The DRA may establish such Committees and Commissions as it deems fit for the effective discharge of its functions under this Act and to exercise such powers that may be conferred and such functions as may be assigned to it under this Act;

The composition, membership, qualifications, terms and conditions of appointment, removal, tenure, removal, tenure, meetings, quoram and resignation of the Committees and Commissions shall be determined by the regulations;

Without prejudice to the generality of the power conferred under sub section (1), the DRA may set up inter alia the following Committee and Commissions:

  1. Law & Policy Reform and Advisory Committee to among others
    1. review and evaluating legislations, policies, rules, bye-laws, programmes, and notifications at the Union, State and local level
    2. develop comprehensive national policy to address issues faced by persons with Disability
    3. prepare and publish a Plan of Action that shall identify principles and priorities, list out the activities to be undertaken by DRA for a specified period which shall be reviewed and revised as and when necessary.
    4. prepare Statutory Code of Practice
    5. undertake compulsory Consultation with the Central and State Government on policies, programmes, legislations and projects with respect to disability.
    6. perform such other functions as may be prescribed or delegated to it
  2. Enforcement Committee to inter alia
    1.  review, monitor and coordinate the activities of all Departments of Government and other Governmental and non-Governmental Organizations which are dealing with matters relating to persons with disabilities;
    2. issue legally binding Statutory Code of Practice to set out the standards of practice and regulations;
  • encourage good practices by forging partnerships with public and private sector organizations; employers and service providers; NGOs, individuals by delivering timely, accessible and authoritative guidance on the law;
  • call from or furnish to or exchange any relevant information to any such agencies, regulatory authorities or enforcement bodies, as may be specified, such information as may be considered necessary by it for the efficient discharge of its functions
  • issue compliance notice or enter into agreement with the regulated entities
  • impose penalties and sanctions under this Act and as prescribed in the Statutory Code of Practice in tandem with other regulatory authorities and enforcement bodies
  • performing any other functions that are incidental and ancillary to the above functions and which will facilitate the discharge of such functions

24 S Finance and Audit Committee

  1. There shall be constituted a Finance and Audit Committee to effectively management and utilization of the Empowerment Fund established under Sec 73E
  2. The Finance and Audit Committee shall be governed by a Finance Board constituting of a Chairperson, a Chief Executive officer and nine other members, namely;
    1. The Finance Secretary to the Government of India Chairperson, ex-officio
    2. Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, in the Central Government Vice-Chairpersons, ex-officio
    3. Secretary, Department of Financial Services / Banking, in the Central Government
    4. Chairperson, Rehabilitation Council of India Member, ex-officio
    5. Chairperson, National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Member, ex-officio
    6. Financial Advisor, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, in the Central Government Member, ex-officio
    7. Representatives of the following Ministries of the Central Government, not below the rank of a Joint Secretary:
      1. Health & Family Welfare
      2. Human Resource Development (Deptt. of School Education & Literacy, and Deptt. of Higher Education)
      3. Labour & Employment Members, ex-officio
  3. The Finance Board shall meet as often as necessary, but at least once in every financial year.
  4. The Finance Board may associate with itself, in such manner and for such purpose as may be determined by regulations, any person whose assistance or advice it may desire for carrying out any of the objects of the Fund.
  5. Nominated members shall hold office for not more than three years.
  6. No Member of the Board shall be a beneficiary of the Fund during the period such Member holds office.
  7. The utilization and management of the Fund shall be as follows:
    1. The Executive Board may from time to time fix an amount to be known as the corpus of the Fund;
    2. An amount equal to the corpus shall be invested in such manner as may be prescribed..
    3. All moneys belonging to the Fund shall be deposited in such banks or invested in such manner as the Governing Board, may decide.
    4. Amounts in excess of the corpus, including the interest accruing on the corpus, may be spent for one or more of the following purposes in relation to persons with disabilities:
      1. education, health and rehabilitation
      2. vocational training and employment
      3. generation of awareness
      4. administrative and other expenses of the Fund, as may be required to be incurred by or under this Act, and
      5. such other purposes as may be prescribed.
  8. The Finance Board in consultation with the Executive Board, shall prepare, in such form and at such time in each financial year as may be prescribed, the budget for the next financial year showing the estimated receipt and expenditure of the Fund, and shall forward the same to the Central Government to be laid before Parliament

24T Accounts & Audit:

  1. The Finance Board shall maintain proper accounts and other relevant records and prepare an annual statement of accounts of the Fund including the income and expenditure accounts in such form as required by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India.
  2. The accounts of the Fund shall be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India at such intervals as may be specified by him and any expenditure incurred by him in connection with such audit shall be payable by the Fund to the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India.
  3. The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India and other person appointed by him in connection with the audit of the accounts of the Fund shall have the same rights, privileges and authority in connection with such audit as the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India generally has in connection with the audit of the Government accounts, and in particular, shall have the right to demand production of books of accounts, connected vouchers and other documents and papers and to inspect any of the offices of the Fund.
  4. The accounts of the Fund as certified by the Comptroller, and Auditor-General of India or any other person appointed by him in this behalf, together with the audit report thereon, shall be forwarded annually to the Central Government, which shall cause the same to be laid before each House of Parliament.

24U Empowerment Commission


Empowerment Commission to inter alia
  • to perform functions of empowering, capacity building and protecting the rights of the persons with disability
  • develop and conduct information programmes to foster public understanding of this Act, the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the role and activities of DRA
  • sensitize and lead to raising awareness throughout society, including at the family level, regarding persons with disabilities, and foster respect for the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities
  • promote understanding, capacity building and encouraging good practices and exchange and development of best practice and consultation
  • undertake research, collect data and materials relating to persons with disabilities and engage in its dissemination to promote evidence based understanding of disability rights in different sectors
  • address any series of grievances that raise systemic issues pertaining to full and effective realization of rights of persons with disabilities
  • bring proceedings in a competent court or tribunal in its own name, or on behalf of a person or a group or class of persons including assistance in terms of fact-finding and research to strengthen the process of Public Interest Litigation;
  • assist any court in the interpretation of this Act or determination of any issue relating to rights of persons with disabilities and playing a proactive role in ensuring access to justice as well as facilitating mediation and conciliation
  • conduct inquiry, suo motu, into any structural violation of rights of persons with disabilities on the basis of the feedback received from the Commissioners for Persons with Disabilities
  • investigate into specific complaints of any large-scale denial of rights of persons with disabilities, or breach of provisions of Statutory Code of Practice
  • exchange, furnish or call for any relevant information, to and from, any such agencies, regulatory authorities or enforcement bodies or any such Committees under this Act, as may be specified, such information as may be considered necessary by it for the efficient discharge of its functions
  • make impact assessment thereby producing a report before the Executive Board about the activities, workshops, interventions made along with measuring the performance against standards set and identify the missed opportunities.
  • Perform such other functions as may be prescribed or delegated to it
  • Establishment, Jurisdiction, Authority and Procedure of Chief, State and District Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities for Individual Grievance Redressal

24V Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities

The Central Government shall appoint a full-time Chief Commissioner for persons with disabilities for the purposes of this Act.

The Chief Commissioner shall be appointed for a period from amongst persons having expertise and experience in advocacy and research for the rights of persons with disabilities.

The Chief Commissioner shall

  • Ensure that a commission for persons with disabilities is set up in each district and state in India and appointments are made regularly
  • Coordinate the work of the State Commission and the District Commission
  • Monitor the utilization of funds disbursed to the State Commission and District Commission

24W State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities

There shall be established, a State Commission for Persons with Disabilities for the purpose of this Act.

The State Commission shall consist of two full-time members including

  1. a President who is a retired judge of a High Court
  2. a person with disability belonging to a self-advocacy or peer support group or a person having adequate knowledge or experience of, or have shown capacity in dealing with issues of human rights and rights of persons with disabilities.

The appointments under this section shall be made after obtaining recommendations of a Committee comprising of the Chief Justice of the High Court of the respective state and the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities from amongst the nine members.

Provided that in constituting the State Commission, every effort shall be made to give representation to persons with disabilities and women.

24 X District Commission for Persons with Disabilities

  1. There shall be established, for each State, a District Commission for Persons with Disabilities in each district of the State
  2. The District Commission shall consist of two full-time members including
    1. President who is a retired judge of a District Court
    2. a person with disability belonging to a self-advocacy or peer support group or a person having adequate knowledge or experience of, or have shown capacity in dealing with issues of human rights and rights of persons with disabilities.
  3. The appointments under this section shall be made after obtaining recommendations of a Committee comprising of the Chief Justice of the High Court of the respective state and the 2 members of the State Commission for Persons with Disabilities

Provided that in constituting the District Commission, every effort shall be made to give representation to persons with disabilities and women

24Y Jurisdiction of the District Commission

The District Commission shall have the jurisdiction to entertain complaints relating to any violation of rights guaranteed to persons with disabilities under this Act.

24Z Procedure in the District Commission

  1. Any aggrieved person may approach the District Commission with a complaint listing specific details so as to provide adequate information to the members.
  2. On receipt of a complaint, the District Commission shall provide a copy of the complaint to the opposite party mentioned in the complaint direction him/her to respond within a period of thirty days.
  3. The District Commission shall give a reasonable opportunity to both the parties to present their case in person or through a legal counsel.
  4. For the purposes of this section, the District Commission shall have the same powers as are vested in a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 while trying a suit in respect of the following matters, namely –
  1. summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;
  2. requiring the discovery and production of documents;
  3. receiving evidence on affidavits;
  4. subject to the provisions of sections 123 and 124 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, (1 of 1872) requisitioning any public record or document or copy of such record or document from any office;
  5. issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents;
  6. reviewing its decisions;
  7. dismissing an application for default or deciding it ex parte;
  8. setting aside any order of dismissal of any application for default or any order passed by it ex parte; and
  9. any other matter which may be prescribed by the Concerned Government.
  1. (v) The Commission shall decide every application made to it as expeditiously as possible after a perusal of documents, affidavits and written representations and after hearing such oral arguments as may be advanced
  2. (vi) Every proceeding before the District Commission shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of Sections 193 and 228 of the Indian Penal Code and the District Commission shall be deemed to be a civil court for the purposes of the Code of Civil Procedure.

25 Finding of the District Commission

The Commission shall decide both questions of law and facts that may be raised before it and if it is satisfied that there has been any infringement of any right guaranteed under this Act or a violation of any provision of this Act, it shall issue an order to the opposite party directing one or more of the following things –

  • to remedy the infringement by removing the discriminatory practice or scheme
  • to discontinue any activity that is violating the provisions of this Act
  • to pay such amount as may be awarded by the Commission as compensation to the victim for any loss or injury suffered
  • to provide adequate costs to the parties

Every order made by the District Commission shall be signed by its President and the members conducting the proceedings and published regularly on its website

Subject to the foregoing provisions, the procedure relating to the conduct of the members of the District Commission, its sitting and other matters shall be such as may be prescribed by the State Government.

25A Appeal

Any person aggrieved by an order made by the District Commission may prefer an appeal against such order to the State Commission within a period of thirty days from the date of the order

Provided that the State Commission may entertain an appeal after the expiry of the said period of thirty days if it is satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not finding it within that period.

25B Procedure in the State Commission

  1. The provisions of Sections 6, 7 and 8 and the rules made there under for the disposal of complaint by the District Commission shall, with such modification as may be necessary, be applicable to the disposal of disputes by the State Commission.

25C Enforcement of the Orders of the District Commission or the State Commission

  1. Every order made by the District Commission or the State Commission may be enforced by the District Commission or the State Commission as the case may be, in the same manner as if it were a decree or order made by a Court in a suit pending therein and it shall be lawful for the District and the State Commission to send, in the event of its inability to execute it, such order to the court having jurisdiction over the case.

25D Penalties

  1. Where a party fails to comply with any order of the District Commission or the State Commission, as the case may be, such party shall be punishable with imprisonment or fine or both.

25E Bi-Annual Reports

The District Commission shall present two reports annually to the State Commission, the Chief Commissioner and the Empowerment Commission of DRA.

The State Commission shall present two reports annually to the Chief Commissioner and the Empowerment Commission of DRA.

The reports shall contain detailed analysis of the complaints instituted, pending and disposed as well as the nature of complaints, and also identify areas where policy changes or governmental action is necessary to prevent disputes.

Part VI Offences and Penalties

26 This part will contain the offences and penalties which at the moment are included in individual chapters.

The part will also have a general penalty by which infringement of any provision of the statute would invite penalty. This part will be fleshed out once the working paper has been discussed and a decision on the substantive content of the new legislation has been reached.

Part VII Miscellaneous

27 Obligation of Data Collection and Statistics

  1. The Appropriate Government shall collect appropriate information, including statistical and research data which is necessary for the effective implementation of the provisions of this Act and the policies or programmes made under the Act.
  2. The date collected by the Government under sub-section (1) shall be considered by the appropriate authority while formulating the programmes and for the implementation of the Act and the programmes under the Act.
  3. The Central Government shall allocate specific funds for the collection of such data as mentioned in sub-section (1) for the implementation and planning of the programmes.
  4. The information collected under sub-section (1) shall not be made public. No such information shall be collected without the consent of the person with disability from whom such information is required.
  5. The information collected from persons with disabilities shall not be used as evidence against them in any proceedings before any court.
  6. Notwithstanding sub-section (2), the information collected by the Appropriate Government shall be made accessible free of cost to persons with disabilities.
  7. The National Unique Identification Authority shall issue adhar numbers to persons with disabilities for the effective implementation of the provisions of this Act.
  8. The Appropriate Government shall make rules for the purpose of deciding the methods, manner and substantive content of the collection of data in furtherance of effective data collection under sub-section (1).

27A   Census Collection for Persons with Disabilities

  1. In accordance with and subject to The Census Act 1948, the Central Government shall include collection of data with respect to persons with disabilities in the census.
  2. The information collected and recorded for the census shall be made accessible free of cost to persons with disabilities.
  3. The Central Government shall allocate specific funds for the collection of such data for census as mentioned in sub-section (1) for the implementation and planning of the programmes.
  4. In order to ensure accuracy and authenticity of the information collected the enumerators and the census officials shall be duly trained in the collection of this data
  5. The Disability Rights Authority shall develop protocols the categories of persons with disabilities and how best to obtain information on each category

Other than this provision on statistics this part of the legislation will have provisions by which overriding effect will be given to this law. The issues which will be provided for in rules and regulations shall be laid out. And the existing law repealed.

There is a proposal that disability provisions in existing legislation should be also amended in a schedule in this law. The following schedule provides an illustration of that exercise which considering the enormity of the task will necessarily be incomplete.

Schedule 1: Amendments to other Legislations:

Indian Sign Language to be notified as an Official Language under the Official Languages Act, 1963.

Under the Copyright Act, 1957, the following addition shall be made under the provisions of Fair Dealing under Section 52 :

Converting published material in the public domain into accessible format for further conversion into Braille, audio, or large print for distribution to the blind and the print disabled.

Under the Right to Information Act, 2005, Section 7(4) :

The term “sensorily disabled” shall be replaced with the term “a person with disability”.

Online Community