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Maneka raises objections to proposed Disability Bill

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New Delhi: Union Minister Maneka Gandhi who is part of a ministerial panel to examine the proposed Disability Bill has raised objections to it saying that the bill does not lay criterion for determination of mentally disabled persons.

“It (bill) does not differentiate between mentally ill and mentally disabled person. But there is a difference between the two. If a person is mentally ill like schizophrenic, how can he be given a job,” Gandhi said talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function.

According to the present law on disability, three per cent reservation for disabled people is mandatory in all categories of government jobs.

The matter was raised in the meeting of Group of Ministers (GoM) which held its first meeting today to examine the Right of Persons with Disabilities Bill 2014.

The GoM is headed by Home Minister Minister Rajnath Singh with Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram and Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot as its member.

Gandhi said the Bill needs to be worked on further before presenting to the Cabinet.

The Bill makes accessibility a mandatory requirement under the law. It proposes entitlement for persons with at least 40 per cent disability to certain benefits such as reservations in education and employment, preference in government schemes, etc.

In the case of a mentally ill person, the district court may award guardianship to take care of him and take all legal binding decisions on his behalf in consultation with such person.

The Bill was drafted by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and seeks to replace the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.

It imposes a penalty of Rs 10,000 or imprisonment up to six months for violation of any provision of the Act.

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