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“The chapters on Legal Capacity and Authorities need to be rewritten,” General Ian Cardozo

The Authorities chapter in the Working Draft of the proposed new disability law envisages the setting up of a Disability Rights Authority. However, this chapter has been shred to pieces by the larger disability sector. Also, the Working Draft fails to settle the issue of one comprehensive disability law covering all the rights of all people with disabilities which should also include the National Trust and the Rehabilitation Council of India (R.C.I.); and the issue of Legal Capacity. Dorodi Sharma of D.N.I.S. caught up with Chairperson, R.C.I., General Ian Cardozo to get his views on these issues.

D.N.I.S.: What are your thoughts on the Working Draft of the proposed Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act? Please give a few positives and negatives (if any).

General Ian Cardozo: The two most important chapters i.e. Legal Capacity and Authorities need to be rewritten. They are not acceptable in their present state.

D.N.I.S.: What is your feedback on the State Consultations on the Working Draft and the complaints that have been pouring in from different States? Where do you think things went wrong?

General Ian Cardozo: The time for deliberations was less. The Dehradun group continued to work after the Consultation and submitted the report late.

D.N.I.S.: Are you in favour of one comprehensive disability rights law which will also include the National Trust Act, the R.C.I. Act and rights of people living with mental illness? If yes/no, please give reason.

General Ian Cardozo: The advantage of one law is 'convenience'. Either way, it needs to be comprehensive. In my view this is tied up with the way in which the chapter on 'Authorities takes shape.