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PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES, PROTECTION OF RIGHTS AND FULL PARTICIPATION) ACT, 1995

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 1 of 1996


  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 5
  • Chapter 6
  • Chapter 7
  • Chapter 8
  • Chapter 9
  • Chapter 10
  • Chapter 11
  • Chapter 12
  • Chapter 13
  • Chapter 14
  • Act nº 1 of 1996

Preamble

THE PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES, PROTECTION OF RIGHTS AND FULL PARTICIPATION) ACT, 1995

[Act, No. 1 of 1996]

[1st January, 1996]

PREAMBLE

An Act to give effect to the Proclamation on the Full Participation and Equality of the People with Disabilities in the Asian and Pacific Region.

whereas the Meeting to Launch the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons 1993-2000 convened by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific held at Beijing on 1st to 5th December, 1992, adopted the Proclamation on the Full Participation and Equality of People with Disabilities in the Asian and Pacific Region;

AND whereas India is a signatory to the said Proclamation;

AND whereas it is considered necessary to implement the Proclamation aforesaid.

be it enacted by Parliament in the Forty-sixth year of the Republic of India as follows:--

Chapter 1

Section 1. Short title, extent and commencement

(1) This Act may be called the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.

(2) It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

(3) It shall come into force on such date1as the Central Government may, by notification, appoint.

1. Came into force on 7-2-1996, vide S.O. 107 (E), dated 7th February, 1996.


Section 2. Definitions

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--

(a) "appropriate Government" means,--

(i) in relation to the Central Government or any establishment wholly or substantially financed by that Government, or a Cantonment Board constituted under the Cantonment Act, 1924 (2 of 1924), the Central Government;

(ii) in relation to a State Government or any establishment wholly or substantially financed by that Government, or any local authority, other than a Cantonment Board, the State Government;

(iii) in respect of the Central Co-ordination Committee and the Central Executive Committee, the Central Government;

(iv) in respect of the State Co-ordination Committee and the State Executive Committee, the State Government;

(b) "blindness" refers to a condition where a person suffers from any of the following conditions, namely:--

(i) total absence of sight; or

(ii) visual acuity not exceeding 6/60 or 20/200 (snellen) in the better eye with correcting lenses; or

(iii) limitation of the field of vision subtending an angle of 20 degree or worse;

(c) "Central Co-ordination Committee" means the Central Co-ordination Committee constituted under sub-section (1) of section 3;

(d) "Central Executive Committee" means the Central Executive Committee constituted under sub-section (1) of section 9;

(e) "cerebral palsy" means a group of non-progressive conditions of a person characterised by abnormal motor control posture resulting from brain insult or injuries occurring in the pre-natal, peri-natal or infant period of development;

(f) "Chief Commissioner" means the Chief Commissioner appointed under sub-section (1) of section 57

(g) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner appointed under sub-section (1) of section 60;

(h) "competent authority" means the authority appointed under section 50;

(i) "disability" means--

(i) blindness;

(ii) low vision;

(iii) leprosy-cured;

(iv) hearing impairment;

(v) locomotor disability;

(vi) mental retardation;

(viii) mental illness;

(j) "employer" means,--

(i) in relation to a Government, the authority notified by the Head of the Department in this behalf or where no such authority is notified, the Head of the Department; and

(ii) in relation to an establishment, the Chief Executive Officer of that establishment;

(k) "establishment" means a corporation established by or under a Central, Provincial or State Act, or an authority or a body owned or controlled or aided by the Government or a local authority or a Government company as defined in section 617 of the Companies Act 1956 (1 of 1956) and includes Departments of a Government;

(l) "hearing impairment" means loss of sixty decibels or more in the better year in the conversational range of frequencies;

(m) "institution for persons with disabilities" means an institution for the reception, care, protection, education, training rehabilitation or any other service of persons with disabilities;

(n) "leprosy cured person" means any person who has been cured of leprosy but is suffering from--

(i) loss of sensation in hands or feet as well as loss of sensation and paresis in the eye and eye-lid but with no manifest deformity;

(ii) manifest deformity and paresis but having sufficient mobility in their hands and feet to enable them to engage in normal economic activity;

(iii) extreme physical deformity as well as advanced age which prevents him from undertaking any gainful occupation,

and the expression "leprosy cured" shall be construed accordingly;

(o) "locomotor disability" means disability of the bones, joints or muscles leading to substantial restriction of the movement of the limbs or any form of cerebral palsy;

(p) "medical authority" means any hospital or institution specified for the purposes of this Act by notification by the appropriate Government;

(q) "mental illness" means any mental disorder other than mental retardation;

(r) "mental retardation" means a condition of arrested or incomplete development of mind of a person which is specially characterised by subnormality of intelligence;

(s) "notification" means a notification published in the Official Gazette;

(t) "person with disability" means a person suffering from not less than forty per cent of any disability as certified by a medical authority;

(u) "person with low vision" means a person with impairment of visual functioning even after treatment or standard refractive correction but who uses or is potentially capable of using vision for the planning or executior of a task with appropriate assistive device;

(v) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(w) "rehabilitation" refers to a process aimed at enabling persons with disabilities to reach and maintain their optimal physical, sensory, intellectual, psychiatric or social functional levels;

(x) "Special Employment Exchange" means any office or place established and maintained by the Government for the collection and furnishing of information, either by keeping of registers or otherwise, respecting--

(i) persons who seek to engage employees from amongst the persons suffering from disabilities;

(ii) persons with disability who seek employment;

(iii) vacancies to which person with disability seeking employment may be appointed;

(y) "State Co-ordination Committee" means the State Co-ordination Committee constituted under sub-section (1) of section 13;

(z) "State Executive Committee" means the State Executive Committee constituted under sub-section (1) of section 19.

Chapter 2

Section 3. Central Co-ordination Committee

(1) The Central Government shall by notification constitute a body to be known as the Central Co-ordination Committee to exercise the powers conferred on, and to perform the functions assigned to it, under this Act.

(2) The Central Co-ordination Committee shall consist of--

(a) the Minister-in-charge of the Department of Welfare in the Central Government, Chairperson, ex officio;

(b) the Minister of State-in-charge of the Department of Welfare in the Central Government, Vice Chairperson, ex officio;

(c) Secretaries to the Government of India in-charge of the Departments of Welfare, Education, Woman and Child Development, Expenditure, Personnel Training and Public Grievances, Health, Rural Development, Industrial Development, Urban Affairs and Employment, Science and Technology, Legal Affairs, Public Enterprises, Members, ex officio;

(d) Chief Commissioner, Member ex officio;

(e) Chairman Railway Board, Member, ex officio;

(f) Director-General of Labour, Employment and Training, Member, ex officio;

(g) Director, National Council for Educational Research and Training, Member, ex officio;

(h) three Members of Parliament, of whom two shall be elected by the House of the People and one by the Council of States, Members;

(i) three persons to be nominated by the Central Government to represent the interests, which in the opinion of that Government ought to be represented, Members;

(j) Directors of the--

(i) National Institute for the Visually Handicapped, Dehradun;

(ii) National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped, Secundrabad;

(iii) National Institute for the Orthopaedically Handicapped, Calcutta;

(iv) Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped, Bombay, Members, ex officio;

(k) four Members to be nominated by the Central Government by rotation to represent the States and the Union territories in such manner as may be prescribed by the Central Government:

Provided that no appointment under this clause shall be made except on the recommendation of the State Government or, as the case may be, the Union territory;

(l) five persons as far as practicable, being persons with disabilities, to represent non-governmental organisations or associations which are concerned with disabilities, to be nominated by the Central Government, one from each area of disability, Members:

Provided that while nominating persons under this clause, the Central Government shall nominate at least one woman and one person belonging to Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes;

(m) Joint Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Welfare dealing with the welfare of the handicapped, Member-secretary, ex officio.

(3) The office of the Member of the Central Co-ordination Committee shall not disqualify its holder for being chosen as or for being a Member of either House of Parliament.

Section 4. Term of office of Members

(1) Save as otherwise provided by or under this Act a Member of Central Co-ordination Committee nominated under clause (i) or clause (1) of sub-section (2) of section 3 shall hold office for a term of three years from the date of his nomination:

Provided that such a Member shall, notwithstanding the expiration of his term, continue to hold office until his successor enters upon his office.

(2) The term of office of an ex officio Member shall come to an end as soon as he ceases to hold the office by virtue of which he was so nominated.

(3) The Central Government may if it thinks fit remove any Member nominated under clause (i) or clause (1) of sub-section (2) of the section 3, before the expiry of his term of office after giving him a reasonable opportunity of showing cause against the same.

(4) A Member nominated under clause (i) or clause (1) of sub-section (2) of section 3 may at any time resign his office by writing under his hand addressed to the Central Government and the seat of the said Member shall thereupon become vacant.

(5) A casual vacancy in the Central Co-ordination Committee shall be filled by a fresh nomination and the person nominated to fill the vacancy shall hold office only for the remainder of the term for which the Member in whose place he was so nominated.

(6) A Member nominated under clause (i) or clause (1) of sub-section (2) of section 3 shall be eligible for renomination.

(7) Members nominated under clause (i) or clause (1) of sub-section (2) of section 3 shall receive such allowances as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

Section 5. Disqualifications

(1) No person shall be a Member of the Central Co-ordination Committee, who--

(a) is, or at any time has been, adjudged insolvent or has suspended payment of his debts or has compounded with his creditors, or

(b) is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court, or

(c) is or has been convicted of an offense which, in the opinion of the Central Government, involves moral turpitude, or

(d) is or at any time has been convicted of an offence under this Act, or

(e) has so abused in the opinion of the Central Government his position as a Member as to render his continuance in the Central Co-ordination Committee detrimental to the interests of the general public.

(2) No order of removal shall be made by the Central Government under this section unless the Member concerned has been given a reasonable opportunity of showing cause against the same.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1) or sub-section (6) of section 4, a Member who has been removed under this section shall not be eligible for renomination as a Member.

Section 6. Vacation of seats by Members

If a Member of the Central Co-ordination Committee becomes subject to any of the disqualifications specified in section 5, his seat shall become vacant.

Section 7. Meetings of the Central Co-ordination Committee

The Central Co-ordination Committee shall meet at least once in every six months and shall observe such rules of procedure in regard to the transaction of business at its meetings as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

Section 8. Functions of the Central Co-ordination Committee

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the function of the Central Co-ordination Committee shall be to serve as the national focal point on disability matters and facilitate the continuous evolution of a comprehensive policy towards solving the problems faced by persons with disabilities.

(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, the Central Co-ordination Committee may perform all or any of the following functions, namely:--

(a) review and coordinate the activities of all the Departments of Government and other Governmental and non-Governmental Organizations which are dealing with matters relating to persons with disabilities;

(b) develop a national policy to address issues faced by persons with disabilities;

(c) advise the Central Government on the formulation of policies, programmes, legislation and projects with respect to disability;

(d) take up the cause of persons with disabilities with the concerned authorities and the international organisations with a view to provide for schemes and projects for the disabled in the national plans and other programmes and policies evolved by the international agencies;

(e) review in consultation with the donor agencies their funding policies from the perspective of their impact on persons with disabilities;

(f) take such other steps to ensure barrier-free environment in public places, work- places, public utilities, schools and other institutions;

(g) monitor and evaluate the impact of policies and programmes designed for achieving equality and full participation of persons with disabilities;

(h) to perform such other functions as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

Section 9. Central Executive Committee

(1) The Central Government shall constitute a Committee to be known as the Central Executive Committee to perform the functions assigned to it under this Act.

(2) The Central Executive Committee shall consist of--

(a) the Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Welfare, Chairperson, ex officio;

(b) the Chief Commissioner, Member, ex officio;

(c) the Director-General for Health Services, Member, ex officio;

(d) the Director-General, Employment and Training, Member, ex officio;

(e) six persons not below the rank of a Joint Secretary to the Government of India, to represent the Ministries or Departments of Rural Development, Education, Welfare, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension and Urban Affairs and Employment, Science and Technology, Members, ex officio;

(f) the Financial Advisor, Ministry of Welfare in the Central Government, Member, ex officio;

(g) Advisor (Tariff) Railway Board, Member, ex officio;

(h) four members to be nominated by the Central Government, by rotation, to represent the State Governments and the Union territories in such manner as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

(i) one person to be nominated by the Central Government to represent the interest, which in the opinion of the Central Government ought to be represented, Member;

(j) five persons, as far as practicable, being persons with disabilities, to represent non-Governmental Organisations or associations which are concerned with disabilities, to be nominated by the Central Government, one from each area of disability, Members:

Provided that while nominating persons under this clause, the Central Government shall nominate at least one woman and one person belonging to Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes;

(k) Joint Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Welfare dealing with the welfare of the handicapped, Member-Secretary, ex officio.

(3) Members nominated under clause (i) and clause (j) of sub-section (2) shall receive such allowances as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

(4) A Member nominated under clause (i) and clause (j) of sub-section (2) may at any time resign his office by writing under his hand addressed to the Central Government and the seat of the said Member shall thereupon become vacant.

Section 10. Functions of the Central Executive Committee

(1) The Central Executive Committee shall be the executive body of the Central Co-ordination Committee and shall be responsible for carrying out the decisions of the Central Co-ordination Committee,

(2) Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (1), the Central Executive Committee shall also perform such other functions as may be delegated to it by the Central Co-ordination Committee.

Section 11. Meetings of the Central Executive Committee

The Central Executive Committee shall meet at least once in three months and shall observe such rules of procedure in regard to the transaction of business at its meetings as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

Section 12. Temporary association of persons with Central Executive Committee for particular purposes

(1) The Central Executive Committee may associate with itself in such manner and for such purposes as may be prescribed by the Central Government any person whose assistance or advice it may desire to obtain in performing any of its functions under this Act.

(2) A person associated with the Central Executive Committee under sub-section (1) for any purpose shall have the right to take part in the discussions of the Central Executive Committee relevant to that purpose, but shall not have a right to vote at a meeting of the said Committee, and shall not be a member for any other purpose.

(3) A person associated with the said Committee under sub-section (1) for any purpose shall be paid such fees and allowances, for attending its meetings and for attending to any other work of the said Committee, as may be prescribed by the Central Government.