Indian Affairs

Rajya Sabha passes Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, which will replace the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995, was passed in the Rajya Sabha . The legislation, which has brought in a total of 119 amendments, had been pending in the Parliament’s Upper House since February 2014. While the previous Act identified seven disabilities, the new Bill has recognised 21 disabilities.

A bill stipulating up to two- year jail term and a maximum fine of Rs 5 lakh for discriminating against differently-abled persons was passed by the Rajya Sabha .

  • The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014, which aims at securing and enhancing the rights and entitlements of disabled persons, was passed by a voice vote after rare unanimity was witnessed among the Opposition and Treasury benches in the House, which has seen acrimony and disruptions since the Winter Session began .
  • The bill, which was moved in Upper House earlier this month by Social Justice Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot, also gives effect to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and related matters. It provides for imprisonment of at least six months up to two years, along with a fine ranging between Rs 10,000 and Rs 5 lakh for discriminating against differently-abled persons.
  • The Union Cabinet had earlier approved these amendments to the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (RPWD) Bill, 2014, that had replaced the 1995 Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act.