The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday passed Right of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014 with some amendments. The amendments have been made keeping in view the changing times and crimes in the country.
After Rajya Sabha, the bill will now go back to Lok Sabha and once cleared it will replace the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.
Here are some of the key highlights of the bill:
# Major highlight of this bill is that it covers 19 conditions, instead of seven disabilities specified in the Act. The 1995 Act recognised 7 disabilities — blindness, low vision, leprosy-cured, hearing impairment, locomotor disability, mental retardation and mental illness. However, the 2014 Bill was expanded to cover 19 conditions– including cerebral palsy, haemophilia, multiple sclerosis, autism and thalassaemia among others.
#The revised version of the bill also recognises two other disabilities- acid attacks and and Parkinson’s Disease.
#Not only this, the Bill has also laid down provisions to allow the central government to notify any other condition as a disability.
#Now individuals with at least 40 per cent of a disability are also entitled to benefits such as reservations in education and employment, preference in government schemes and others.
#The 1995 law had only 3 per cent reservation for the disabled in higher education institutions and government. The 2014 Bill has raised it to 5 per cent.
#It has come up with several rights and entitlements, including disabled friendly access to all public buildings.
# Provisions in matters of guardianship of mentally ill persons. According to the bill, the District courts may bestow upon two types of guardianship: limited guardian (who has to take joint decisions with mentally ill person) and plenary guardian (who can take decisions on behalf of mentally ill person, without consulting them).
#A penalty will also be slapped for violating the rules of the Act. The 1995 Act did not have any such penal provision. However, 2014 Bill had made violation of any provision of the Act punishable with a jail term of up to 6 months, and/or a fine of Rs 10,000.