Volume 4 Issue 17 - September 01, 2006

Madras High Court Chief Justice calls for removal of lacunae in Disability Act

D.N.I.S. News Network – The Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, Justice A.P. Shah has called for the removal of numerous lacunae in the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act 1995.

Speaking at the valedictory function of a workshop organised by Ability Foundation to discuss the proposed amendments to the Disability Act, Justice Shah pointed out a number of lacunae in the present law and suggested methods to rectify them.

He said the very definition of disabilities under the Act was narrow and that it did not conform to the W.H.O. classification. Further, prescribing a minimum percentage of disability for one to seek redress under the Act was not desirable as, “The disabled cannot be measured by the percentage of their disability.”

Justice Shah also stated that the absence of deadlines to achieve targets set by the Act was a major deterrent to its implementation. As per Section 42 of the Disability Act, the State should provide aids and appliances to disabled people, and this should be expanded to include state-of the-art enabling software. He also mentioned that while Section 43 of the Act called for preferential allotment of land to the disabled, he had not come across any such case.

The Chief Justice called for planned and coordinated dissemination of information about the Disability Act among the public and disabled people, as India needs “a healthy system to deal with discrimination”.

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