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Legal capacity denied to persons with cerebral palsy

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: Despite having ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (C.R.P.D.), implementing bodies in India continue to deny legal capacity to persons with disabilities, especially those with cerebral palsy. In a new case, a group of young adults with cerebral palsy in Chennai have been denied the right to open bank accounts in their name.

This group of seven students from Vidya Sagar were planning to start a business venture and avail a loan from National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (N.H.F.D.C.). Accordingly, they had applied for opening bank accounts. Since the majority of the members of this group are also affected with mental disability, the bank refused their request. Instead, it recommended that the youngsters give a ‘power of attorney’ to their parents to operate the bank account on their behalf.

It should be noted that N.H.F.D.C. also does not provide loans to individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Article 12 of C.R.P.D. talks about legal capacity, which has been further underlined by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to be read as full legal capacity. With India ratifying C.R.P.D., more and more such cases will continue to surface and the Government of India will have to state its position on the issue, one way or the other.