Parliament passes Disabilities Bill

New Delhi: Reservation for disabled is set to increase by 2 per cent in colleges while one per cent in government jobs, with the passage of the Disabilities Bill in both Houses of Parliament today.

With the passage of this bill, every child with benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years shall have the right to free education.

The bill seeks to increase reservation in government jobs for persons with benchmark disabilities from 3 per cent to 4 per cent, and in higher education institutes from 3 per cent to 5 per cent.

The legislation, drafted to make Indian laws compliant with the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, will replace the Persons with Disabilities Act 1995.

The Lok Sabha passed the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill – 2016 Bill within two hours after a short debate on the last day of the session with the treasury and opposition benches, who have been at loggerheads over demonetisation and other issues, joining hands to clear the legislation.

Describing the passage of Disabilities bill by Parliament as a “landmark moment”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it will add tremendous strength to ‘Accessible India Movement’.

“Passage of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill – 2016 is a landmark moment & will add tremendous strength to ‘Accessible India movement’,” he said.

Thanking all the Parliamentarians for supporting this landmark legislation, Union Social Justice Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot termed it as a “historic” decision which will bring substantial positive change in the life of crores of differently-abled people.

He said the winter session did not witness much business but ended on a high note with passage of this bill which aims at securing and enhancing rights and entitlements of disabled persons.

Gehlot also said that a scheme of ‘universal identity card for the disabled’ was on the anvil and an agency has already been finalised for the purpose.

As per the bill — assaulting, insulting, intimidating, denying food to a person with disability or sexually exploiting a differently-abled woman and performing a medical procedure on such women without consent which may lead in termination of pregnancy will draw a jail term up to five years once the law is passed.

Any person who contravenes any provision of the act will be punishable with a maximum fine of Rs 5 lakh. .