About the Act
- Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 fulfills the obligations to the United National Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), to which India is a signatory and subsequently ratified the same on 1st October, 2007.
- The Act came into force during December 2016.
- Disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept.
- The types of disabilities have been increased from existing 7 to 21 and the Central Government will have the power to add more types of disabilities.
Rights and entitlements
- Responsibility has been cast upon the appropriate governments to take effective measures to ensure that the persons with disabilities enjoy their rights equally with others.
- Every child with benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years shall have the right to free education.
- All Government institutions of higher education and those getting aid from the Government are required to reserve at least 5% of seats for persons with benchmark disabilities.
- Four percent reservation for persons with benchmark disabilities is to be provided in posts of all Government establishments with differential quotas for different forms of disabilities.
- Incentives to employers in the private sector are to be given who provide 5% reservation for persons with benchmark disability. Special employment exchanges for the PWD are to be set up.
- The Act provides for grant of guardianship by District Court under which there will be joint decision – making between the guardian and the persons with disabilities.
Establishment of Authorities
- Broad based Central & State Advisory Boards on Disability are to be set up to serve as apex policy making bodies at the Central and State level.
- The Office of Chief Commissioner of Persons with Disabilities has been strengthened who will now be assisted by 2 Commissioners and an Advisory Committee comprising not more than 11 members drawn from experts in various disabilities.
- The Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities and the State Commissioners will act as regulatory bodies and Grievance Redressal agencies and also monitor implementation of the Act.
Penalties for offences
- The Act provides for penalties for offences committed against persons with disabilities and also violation of the provisions of the new law.
- Any person who violates provisions of the Act, or any rule or regulation made under it, shall be punishable with imprisonment up to six months and/ or a fine of Rs 10,000, or both. For any subsequent violation, imprisonment of up to two years and/or a fine of Rs 50,000 to Rs five lakh can be awarded.
- Whoever intentionally insults or intimidates a person with disability, or sexually exploits a woman or child with disability, shall be punishable with imprisonment between six months to five years and fine.
- Special Courts will be designated in each district to handle cases concerning violation of rights of PwDs.
Why in News?
- The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities held a meeting to review the implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.