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Draft on disability law a bad job: rights group

Aarti Dhar

NEW DELHI: The National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) has rejected the draft of the new law proposed by the government for differently-abled persons.

Describing it as “mischievous and clever,” Javed Abidi, executive director of the disability rights group, has sought a “re-look” at the law, and demanded the disbanding of the 30-member committee that was asked to prepare the draft.

The panel outsourced the job and asked the Hyderabad-based NALSAR University of Law to prepare the draft for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2010.

The committee's mandate to the consultant was to put together a piece of comprehensive legislation coving all laws for persons with disabilities. But the draft, in its concluding remarks, says the “issue of induction of the National Trust and the Rehabilitation Council as separate chapters could not be attempted, primarily because there was no time left to undertake a coherent and systematic exercise. It may also be noted that as the length of the statute expanded, we felt a constraint of space in even incorporating all the provisions of power and accountability in the chapter on the Disability Rights Authority.”

The draft says all significant authorities in the country had dedicated legislation around them, and in this matter the committee would need to consider whether it wished to suggest the creation of one Disability Law Code, and within it have legislation on Disability Rights, the Disability Authority, the National Trust and the Rehabilitation Council. “Or whether it would also wish to induct the National Trust and the Rehabilitation Council into this legislation?” The proposed law suggests setting up of a Disability Rights Authority as a statutory body which will also function as a regulator.

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