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Rights of Disabled Persons

Despite there are many legislative efforts and judicial creativity pertaining to the upliftment, development, and inclusion of differently abled persons. There are many social welfare legislation's to secure and protect the rights of the said community. Even judiciary from time to time came ahead with multiple pronouncements with  judicial creativity to be noticed. It is evident that there is urgent need to amend laws on the protection of rights of differently abled persons with the consonance of Convention on Rights of persons with disabilities.

Nobody wants to focus on disabilities because they think it's a bad thing.  I don't think that it's a bad thing. People should learn to treat them in a better way, they have to treat disabled persons like if their disabilities never exists. Don't make their disability as a part of their identity instead treat them like normal human beings.

Don't be too emotional in front of them like oh my god how poor you are! how do you manage your daily activities. Instead you can be very sporting like oh my god you are so talented I can't manage my thing properly but you does, you are amazing. That is the attitude you need to develop in the society. Moreover they are the part of society itself.

One should always encourages to such people and never pity on them. They are lucky as they are still alive. There is some purpose behind their existence as god does everything for a good reason, so just try to make their lives whole and accept as the way they are, all they want and need is acceptance. Don't offer your help, unless they ask for it, undoubtedly this is a kind gesture, but it will remind them that they can't do things alone.

They know their abilities very well or better than others, help them to overcome their shortcomings instead don't point out their drawbacks or limitation. One should have to understand that if they need help they will just ask for it, sometimes these kind of small things may cause a big loss. So it's better to let them do their things on their own, let them lead a independent and along with this take care of their feelings and emotions. 

Hence the researcher finds number of ambiguities in the present legislation. However time to time judiciary through purposeful interpretation of the Act, made it more operational.  Therefore this is the only reason why the role of judiciary is considerably a crucial one. In the absence of a strong legislation protecting all the rights of the disabled community, judicial interpretation played a remarkable role in ensuring full participation and inclusion in the society, but still an effective legislation is lacking.

In the present act there were provisions to provide justice, accessibility, education, employment and inter Alia it talked about the inclusion of disabled person in the society. Although all of these rights are available but still there is no proper implementation of the provisions as state is also not bound to provide these facilities as the economic condition of state is always act as the defence for not providing or abiding the provision.

The scope of non-discrimination is limited to the accessibility of public facilities and does not extend to private facilities. Moreover providing of barriers free environment it only includes public transport, roads, public buildings etc, it does not cover other facilities like cinema, theatres, restaurants.

Disability is basically a human right issue and the differently abled persons are human beings with the same rights duties and privileges as the non-disabled population. The government both at the Centre and the state levels are serious about the commitments to the persons with disabilities, but the need is to turn the law and policies into effective execution and services on the ground level.

Efforts will fall short unless government involves disabled persons itself in the process of strengthening the implementation process. Hence equality and non-discrimination although are the strong pillars on which human rights are built, and the government have to secure better quality as well as non-discrimination of the persons with disabilities. Differently abled person should given power of accessibility. Since 1950s in India there was a remarkable shift in  social prospection to words disabled person.

In criminal justice system specially in India where persons have a wide range of liberties and freedom. Disabled victims are often not given Right of actively participation in Proceedings. Despite this fact victim play a vital role in whole procedure of prosecution. Similarly differently abled persons played a vital role  either as accused, victim or witness. Criminal justice reform is happening all across the country, therefore it is the time to engage reforms related to differently abled persons as victims, perpetrators and witness.

Despite of the enactment of the PWD Act, in the year 2016 which replace the Act of 1995. Unfortunately, it is still remain silent and  unimplemented in many perspectives, nevertheless it covers each and every drawbacks and shortcomings which exists in the previous legislation. Moreover it increase the number of disabilities from 7 to 21. The situation of persons with disabilities in the country remain marginalized and living in isolation and social exclusion. Being a signatory to the core Convention on Disability, India has initiated appropriate measures to bring reform in the existing disability laws including the PWD Act. 
 
There are multiple types of disabilities, like person with intellectual disability are not eligible to serve in judicial services for obvious reasons as they are not able to make reasonable understanding to judge a matter. Although persons with deafness, blindness, dwarfism, locomotor Disabilities may be eligible to be a judge. There are few number of examples set for others disabled persons that even they are disabled though they can be able to do many things independently and serve his country.

Researcher through analysing the subject matter, came to the conclusion that person suffering from blindness, deaf-ness, or unable to speak or person with more than 40% Disability) are not eligible to be a judicial Officer. As in many times in a case visual evidence is seems to be a deciding factor of the case. Together with psychological face reading is also considered as an essential part in criminal proceedings. Disabled persons suffering with these specific disabilities can never heard the case effectively.

Being a judge person has to make co-ordination between all his senses (eyes, ear and mouth). Nevertheless rest of the persons with disability is like locomotor disability, dwarfism are eligible to serve in judicial services. Although Indian Judiciary set a limit of 40% to 50%  Disability for the eligibility criteria for the post of Civil Judge. 
 
Suggestions
Suggestions for pertaining to the role of differently abled persons in criminal justice system. Hence, the researcher on the basis of the research objectives, research findings and interpretation proposed the following suggestions for economic social and legal development of disabled persons.
  1. Criminal justice system should focus on the rehabilitation of differently abled persons as there should be a counselling sessions of victims. Victims want to feel safe in their community and want assurance that offender will be punished for their bad deeds.
     
  2. The advocates who represent a disabled victim before the court must require some special skills, in order to do complete justice. So in pursuance of this there shall be a special educational qualification and courses to represent disabled persons before court. Any volunteer vigilant lawyer who is sensitised towards disabled have to do a diploma course after that only he will be eligible to do complete justice in the whole process of advocacy.
     
  3. Government should introduce a special post for the interpreter alike public prosecutor. Interpreter is a very important person in a trial of an offence against disabled so keeping this in mind there should be a special court which have power to trial the offences with the help of a government interpreter, public prosecutor and defence counsel.
     
  4. There is a need to raise awareness amongst the law-enforcement agencies that there are ways in which they can be facilitates disabled to give best evidence. They just need to be aware about the technologies and set free from attitudinal barrier with respect to disabled persons.
     
  5. Testimony given by a disabled victim this should be considered as relevant and even admissible.  They are the sole sufferer in the whole case and they can explain the facts that no other person can explain. They can give minute details to the prosecution which can be proved to be a deciding factor of the case.
     
  6. The court premises should be Disabled friendly especially for physical disability and visual and hearing impairment. In the court premises there should be a headphones with GPS which can help a blind person to reach the court room easily. Proper accessibility of assistive mobility aids like wheel chairs, walkers and crutches.
     
  7. Indian penal code also need to be amended with respect to disabled persons. Hence there should be a separate category of Offences states “Offences Against Disabled Persons”. This will help to reduce the victimisation at a lower level.
     
  8. Apart from this old age persons should also Include in the definition of disabled persons under the Act. Hence due to their ageing they are not able to do several things without hue and cry.
     
  9. Disabled persons should be designated as differently abled persons, instead they are like normal beings and should be called as differently abled persons. This thought tells that those people can do all day to day activity, it's just the way they do it is different. Therefore the legislation should use the term differently abled persons instead of disabled persons. Although calling disabled persons as differently abled persons will not help as in practical situation. Still it create a open attitude of once in the society towards disabled.
     
  10. Mobility constraint is considerably a serious impediment for disabled persons as one side we talk about inclusion and the development and on the other side there is no accessibility in public places. To break this cycle there should be a separate lane for disabled persons.
     
  11. Improvement in mobility will give them a right to job, roaming in markets, etc. There should be proper pathway for the disabled persons in public place, so that those people can easily move  from one place to another easily and conveniently.
     
  12. There should be translations of the prayer devoted should be translated on a screen for persons with hearing impairment. This will help him to introspect and to develop mentally. Hence mental development is must to do well in employment.
     
  13. As the population of differently abled persons are much more than 4% is not sufficient to meet the upliftment and development of the community. Reservation should be increased from 4% to 10%.
  14. Differently abled persons who are working in government services, Should be available some special medicalbenefits in all government hospitals weather interstate or intrastate.
     
  15. Differently abled persons should be available on special medical treatments at very less amount so that they can overcome their disability, develop and lead a happy life.
     
  16. They should be provided free and affordable healthcare services within rural area as well together with their should be provided free transport to hospitals.
     
  17. In the disability certificate and the duration of validity of the certificate must be mention. Hence no one can take due advantage of fake disability.
     
  18. Differently abled persons have limited opportunities to socialise and even they don't have any other playful activities like playing cards, watching TV. The present act talks about social inclusion But it lacks in the aspect of equal opportunities in playful activities and socialising with others.
     
  19. The act should be made available to differently abled persons to make them aware about their rights in their regional language at each primary healthcare Centre to bring awareness. The information should include redressal forum government policies and programme.
     
  20. There should be a political target of every party to perform obligations to make the life easy for differently abled persons. Political parties should clearly spell out their obligations towards differently abled persons and plus it should be available in accessible formats to those persons as well.
     
  21. The government should frame some policies to include braille ballot system Only for visually impaired persons to secure their privacy in elections. Modification should be introduced to capacitate differently abled persons to exercise their right to vote and stand in elections.
     
  22. All police stations should be accessible to differently abled persons and the necessary equipments arrangements or support system should be made available to the person while recording their FIR.
     
  23. The issue of disability cannot be seen in isolation therefore it needs to include the subject of disability in all ministries such as Ministry of human right development, Ministry of home affairs, Ministry of sports and youth affairs etc. there is a need to generate coordination between different ministries to address the issue of disability efficiently and effectively.
     
  24. To ensure speedy and accessible justice mobile courts should be set up which can reach maximum persons with disability is in the inferior part of the state.
     
  25. In order to promote higher education of differently abled persons the government should provide assistance or other technology and devices at free of cost to make them learn process easily.
     
  26. To develop a disabled friendly infrastructure, universities must introduced new courses for architects and engineers to develop designs for differently abled persons for improving mobility and accessibility in different places.
     
  27. The present act does not cover recreational facilities and services like hotels cinema theatres restaurants, hence there should be a proper definition of accessibility given by the legislature to include all the on identified facilities in consonance with UN convention on rights of persons with disability.
     
  28. The duty of state to make buildings accessible for disabled persons is within their economic capacity therefor this makes the provision as an unforeseeable and state can make an excuse of lack of resources do not comply with the accessibility guidelines. Hence there should be mandatory provision so that non-compliance with the provision can call for legal consequences.
     
  29. There should be clear official accountability in case of any failure to maintain or comply with the standards of Disabled friendly infrastructure and set by the government. The scope of accessibility should not limit only to access of public buildings or public places but should also include the private entities. It paved the way for disabled persons to make their career in private institutions.

    Written By: Ms.Kriti Kumari Aggarwal

    Awarded certificate of Excellence
    Authentication No: AG023179131125-18-820

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