Context:

The Supreme Court said that a disabled person can avail the benefit of reservation for promotion even if he or she was recruited in the regular category or developed the disability after gaining employment.

Relevance:

GS-II: Social Justice (Welfare Schemes, Government Policies and Interventions, Social Empowerment, Issues Relating to Development), GS-II: Polity and Governance, International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About the SC’s recent Judgement on promotion of PwDs
  2. About the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016
  3. United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)

About the SC’s recent Judgement on promotion of PwDs

  • The important thing is the employee should be a ‘person with disability’ (PwD) at the time of the promotion to avail of the disabled quota.
  • The SC said that the Persons with Disabilities Act of 1995 [which has been replaced with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016] does not make a distinction between a person who may have entered service on account of disability and a person who may have acquired disability after having entered the service.
  • Similarly, the same position would be with the person who may have entered service on a claim of a compassionate appointment. The mode of entry in service cannot be a ground to make out a case of discriminatory promotion.
  • The court said the responsibility to provide equal opportunities to disabled persons does not end with giving them reservation at the time of recruitment.
  • Legislative mandate provides for equal opportunity for career progression, including promotion. Thus, it would be negation of the legislative mandate if promotion is denied to PwD and such reservation is confined to the initial stage of induction in service.

About the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016

  • The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 replaces the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.
  • It fulfills the obligations to the United National Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), to which India is a signatory.

Key Changes brought in the by the 2016 act

  • Disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept.
  • The types of disabilities have been increased from 7 to 21.
  • The act added mental illness, autism, spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, chronic neurological conditions, speech and language disability, thalassemia, hemophilia, sickle cell disease, multiple disabilities including deaf blindness, acid attack victims and Parkinson’s disease which were largely ignored in earlier act.
  • It increases the quantum of reservation for people suffering from disabilities from 3% to 4% in government jobs and from 3% to 5% in higher education institutes.
  • Every child with benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years shall have the right to free education (Government funded educational institutions as well as the government recognized institutions).
  • Stress has been given to ensure accessibility in public buildings in a prescribed time frame along with Accessible India Campaign.
  • The Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities and the State Commissioners will act as regulatory bodies and Grievance Redressal agencies, monitoring implementation of the Act.
  • A separate National and State Fund be created to provide financial support to the persons with disabilities.
  • The Government has been authorized to notify any other category of specified disability.

United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)

  • The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an international human rights treaty of the United Nations intended to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities.
  • Parties to the Convention are required to promote, protect, and ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by persons with disabilities and ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy full equality under the law.
  • The Convention was adopted by the General Assembly in 2006 and came into force in 2008.
  • The convention seeks to engage member countries in developing and carrying out policies, laws and administrative measures for securing the rights recognized in the Convention and abolish laws, regulations, customs and practices that constitute discrimination.
  • It requires countries to identify and eliminate obstacles and barriers and ensure that persons with disabilities can access their environment, transportation, public facilities and services, and information and communications technologies.
  • It asks member countries to recognize the right to an adequate standard of living and social protection which includes public housing, services and assistance for disability-related needs, as well as assistance with disability-related expenses in case of poverty.

-Source: The Hindu

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