LS passes Disabilities Bill

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on December 16, 2016

In a rare bonhomie, after a month-long ruckus over the demonetisation issue, the Lok Sabha on Friday passed the Disabilities Bill that stipulates up to two-year jail term and a fine of up to ₹5 lakh for discriminating against differently-abled persons. The Bill has already been passed by the Rajya Sabha.

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2016, an improved version of the 2014 Bill moved by the then Social Justice & Empowerment Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, was moved by the incumbent Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot.

The Bill has expanded the category of disabilities to 21, to also include autism and acid attack victims. However, some Opposition parties, such as the Congress, Trinamool Congress, Telangana Rastra Samithy, CPI(M), Janata Dal (United) wanted 5 per cent reservation for the differently-abled, instead of 4 per cent proposed in the Bill and also called for division on votes on it .

Replying to the debate, Gehlot announced a scheme of ’universal identity card for the disabled’, adding that an agency had already been finalised for the purpose. The proposed card would be linked to the Aadhar, he added.

The Bill aims at securing and enhancing the rights and entitlements of disabled persons and also gives effect to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and related matters. It has incorporated 59 of the 82 recommendations made by the Parliamentary Standing Committee concerned on the 2014 Bill.

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Published on December 16, 2016
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