The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill 2014, which was introduced in Rajya Sabha in 2014, was cleared last month.
The legislation, drafted to make Indian laws compliant with the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, is seen by many, as a harbinger of change, in the way differently abled individuals are treated in the country. However, not everyone is buying into it.
This is why:
Consider this: the principal beneficiaries of the law are persons with benchmark disabilities. Section 2 (r) of the Act states that a person with a benchmark disability is any person who is 40% disabled, where the percentage of disability cannot be quantified in measurable terms, and, when the percentage of the disability can be ascertained, any person with a disability.
Put differently, the provision envisages the quantification of the percentage of precisely the selfsame disabilities which it explicitly regards as not being capable of quantification.
More worryingly, this provision, instead of being an aberration, is emblematic of the logical inconsistency and inattention to detail that permeate the law.