Government decides not to pursue with proposals to decriminalize offences under the RPwD Act, 2016; says “compounding of offences may not be in the interest of persons with disabilities”

The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (Ministry) had embarked on a stakeholder consultation exercise inviting comments of the State Governments/ UT Administrations, Civil Society/ Non-Government Organisations, Academicians, Public and Private Sector organisations, Multilateral Institutions and members of the public on its proposition to decriminalization offences under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (RPwD Act, 2016).

The Ministry proposed to incorporate a provision to allow compounding of offences under Section [1]89, Section [2]92(a) and Section [3]93 of the RPwD Act, 2016 with the consent of aggrieved persons with disabilities.

Accordingly, on 1st July 2020, the Department invited suggestions/objections from stakeholders on the proposed amendment as per a prescribed template.

In due course feedback was received from various stakeholders, majority of whom is of the view that the existing provisions of the RPwD Act, 2016 are appropriate safeguards for persons with disabilities, and are essential for the effective implementation of the Act. They were of the view that compounding of offences would dilute the spirit of the RPwD Act, 2016 for protecting and preserving the rights of persons with disabilities.

In response to the strong negative feedback received, the Ministry has now decided to drop the proposed amendments, as published earlier, citing that “compounding of offences may not be in the interest of persons with disabilities”.

With this, the Government has decided not to pursue with the proposed amendment to the RPwD Act, 2016 and has closed the consultation process which was initiated in this regard.

[1] Section 89 Any person who contravenes any of the provisions of this Act, or of any rule made thereunder shall for first contravention be punishable with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees and for any subsequent contravention with fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to five lakh rupees.

2 Section 92 Whoever,- (a) intentionally insults or intimidates with intent to humiliate a person with disability in any place within public view; punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to five years and with fine.

3 Section 93 Whoever, fails to produce any book, account or other documents or to furnish any statement, information or particulars which, under this Act or any order, or direction made or given thereunder, is duty bound to produce or furnish or to answer any question put in pursuance of the provisions of this Act or of any order, or direction made or given thereunder, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to twenty-five thousand rupees in respect of each offence, and in case of continued failure or refusal, with further fine which may extend to one thousand rupees for each day, of continued failure or refusal after the date of original order imposing punishment of fine

 

Source: Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

[1] Section 89 Any person who contravenes any of the provisions of this Act, or of any rule made thereunder shall for first contravention be punishable with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees and for any subsequent contravention with fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to five lakh rupees.

 

[2] Section 92 Whoever,- (a) intentionally insults or intimidates with intent to humiliate a person with disability in any place within public view; punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to five years and with fine.

 

[3] Section 93 Whoever, fails to produce any book, account or other documents or to furnish

punishable with fine which may extend to twenty-five thousand rupees in respect of each offence, and in case of any statement, information or particulars which, under this Act or any order, or direction made or given thereunder, is duty bound to produce or furnish or to answer any question put in pursuance of the provisions of this Act or of any order, or direction made or given thereunder, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to twenty-five thousand rupees in respect of each offence, and in case of continued failure or refusal, with further fine which may extend to one thousand rupees for each day, of continued failure or refusal after the date of original order imposing punishment of fine.

 

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