Home Know Your Rights Rights of Disabled Persons in India: A New Perspective

Rights of Disabled Persons in India: A New Perspective

Rights of Disabled Persons in India | The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

The rights and entitlements of disabled in India are contained under The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. This Act complies with the obligations of the United National Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), to which India is a signatory. This Act replaces the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1955. Approximately, 21 disabilities, both mental and physical have been defined in the Act, and the Central Government has the power to add more. Some common disabilities include blindness, leprosy, autism, hearing impairment, locomotor disability, mental illness, etc. It is interesting to note that ‘Dwarfism’ and ‘Acid Attack Victims’ are also included in the physically disabled category.

Rights of Disabled Persons in India | The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

Rights of Disabled Persons in India | The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016

It is essential to protect the rights and interests of this particular community so as to prevent exploitation and discrimination from the society at large. Chapter II of the Act broadly deals with the rights and interests of disabled people in India.

Rights of Disabled Persons in India | The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

  • Right to Equality– Section 3 states that no person shall be discriminated against on the ground of disability and the appropriate government shall ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy the right to equality, life with dignity, and respect for his or her integrity equally with others.
  • Right to Community Life– According to Section 5 the disabled persons shall have the right to enjoy community life. They have a right to live in the community and the government must ensure that they are not excluded from residences and other community services.
  • Right to protection from cruelty and inhuman treatment— According to section 6(1)the persons with disabilities shall be protected from torture, cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, and the responsibility for the same lies with the appropriate Government.
  • Right to protection from abuse, violence, and exploitation— “Section 7(1) states that the appropriate Government shall take measures to protect persons with disabilities from all forms of abuse, violence, and exploitation and to prevent the same, shall— (a) take cognizance of incidents of abuse, violence, and exploitation and provide legal remedies available against such incidents; (b) take steps for avoiding such incidents and prescribe the procedure for its reporting; (c) take steps to rescue, protect and rehabilitate victims of such incidents; and (d) create awareness and make available information among the public.”[1]
  • Right to protection and safety— Under Section 8(1 in situations of risk, armed conflict, and humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters the persons with disabilities shall have an equal right to protection and safety from such calamities
  • Home and family— According to Section 9(1) “No child with a disability shall be separated from his or her parents on the ground of disability except on an order of the competent court, if required, in the best interest of the child. (2) Where the parents are unable to take care of a child with a disability, the competent court shall place such child with his or her near relations and failing that within the community in a family setting or in exceptional cases in shelter home run by the appropriate Government or non-governmental organization, as may be required. “[2]
  •  Reproductive rights— Section 10 states that “(1) The appropriate Government shall ensure that persons with disabilities have access to appropriate information regarding reproductive and family planning. (2) No person with disability shall be subject to any medical procedure which leads to infertility without his or her free and informed consent.”[3]
  • Accessibility in voting— Section 11 states that all the materials and procedures concerning elections across the country shall be accessible by persons with disabilities so that they can effectively exercise their right to vote.
  • Right to access to justice—According to Section 12, the persons with disabilities shall have an equal right to access courts, tribunals or any other judicial or quasi-judicial body in case of any dispute.
  •  Right of Legal capacity— According to Section 13 “(1), The appropriate Government shall ensure that the persons with disabilities have rights, equally with others, to own or inherit property, movable or immovable, control their financial affairs, and have access to bank loans, mortgages and other forms of financial credit. (2) The appropriate Government shall ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life and have the right to equal recognition everywhere as any other person before the law. (3) When a conflict of interest arises between a person providing support and a person with a disability in a particular financial, property or other economic transaction, then such supporting person shall abstain from providing support to the person with a disability in that transaction: Provided that there shall not be a presumption of a conflict of interest just on the basis that the supporting person is related to the person with a disability by blood, affinity or adoption.”[4]
  • Right to education– Additional benefits such as reservation in higher education (not less than 5%), government jobs (not less than 4 %), reservation in the allocation of land, poverty alleviation schemes (5% allotment), etc. have been provided for persons with benchmark disabilities and those with high support needs. Every child with a benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years shall have the right to free education.[5]

Rights of Disabled Persons in India | The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

Many other rights and benefits are listed in the new Act of 2016 which safeguards the interests of the disabled in India. For example, persons with disabilities have the right to access skill development and vocational training. Apart from this, certain health and social security benefits are specifically given to disabled persons. Moreover, this Act also imposes stringent obligations on private establishments to give equal opportunities to persons with disabilities. These private enterprises and ventures shall not discriminate against disabled persons in hiring for jobs and other works. Finally, anyone who acts in contravention of the provisions of this Act shall be held liable under Chapter 16 which deals with Offences and Penalties of the Rights of Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016.   

Also read about The Child Rights In India

Rights of Disabled Persons in India | The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

Rights of Disabled Persons in India | The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

Rights of Disabled Persons in India | The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

Rights of Disabled Persons in India | The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

Rights of Disabled Persons in India | The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

Rights of Disabled Persons in India | The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

Rights of Disabled Persons in India | The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

Rights of Disabled Persons in India | The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.


[1] The Rights of Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016, No. 49, Acts of Parliament, 2016 (India)

[2] The Rights of Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016, No. 49, Acts of Parliament, 2016 (India)

[3] The Rights of Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016, No. 49, Acts of Parliament, 2016 (India)

[4] The Rights of Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016, No. 49, Acts of Parliament, 2016 (India)

[5]Rights of Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016, VIKASPEDIA.COM,  https://vikaspedia.in/social-welfare/differently-abled-welfare/policies-and-standards/rights-of-persons-with-disabilities-act-2016

This article is written by Sakshi Jain and edited by Rupreet Kaur Dhariwal.

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