New Delhi: Discriminating against persons with disabilities can draw a jail term up to two years and a fine of maximum Rs. 5 lakh once a Bill in this regard is passed in Parliament.
The amended Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014, proposes imprisonment of at least six months to not more than two years, along with a fine ranging between Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 5 lakh for discriminating against differently-abled persons.
“The provisions of penalty up to Rs. 5 lakh and imprisonment up to two years have been included for the first time for effective implementation of the legislation once it is passed in Parliament,” Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot said today.
The Bill, which aims at securing and enhancing the rights and entitlements of disabled persons, has been introduced in Parliament and is likely to come for discussion on Monday.
On November 30, the Union Cabinet approved the proposed amendments to the Bill, that seeks to replace the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.
Mr Gehlot said the Bill proposes to increase reservation for those with benchmark disabilities in government jobs from current three per cent to four per cent, and in higher educational institutes from the existing three per cent to five per cent.
“In the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (RPWD) Bill, 2014, disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept and the types of disabilities have been increased from existing seven to 21. The Centre will have the power to add more types of disabilities to it,” the Union Minister said.
It also proposes to increase the types of disabilities from the existing seven to 21, which include mental illness, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, chronic neurological conditions. As per the Bill, government will have the power to add more types of disabilities.
The Bill proposes strengthening the office of chief commissioner and state commissioners for Persons with Disabilities which will act as regulatory bodies.
The bill was examined by the parliamentary standing committee last year. Then, a Group of Ministers, headed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, examined the provisions of the bill and sent their recommendations to the Prime Ministers office.