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CHAPTER 2 – RIGHTS AND ENTITLEMENTS

3. Equality and non-discrimination

(1) The appropriate Government shall ensure that the persons with disabilities enjoy the right to equality, life with dignity and respect for his or her integrity equally with others.
(2) The appropriate Government shall take steps to utilise the capacity of persons with disabilities by providing appropriate environment.
(3) No person with disability shall be discriminated on the ground of disability, unless it is shown that the impugned act or omission is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
(4) No person shall be deprived of his or her personal liberty only on the ground of disability.
(5) The appropriate Government shall take necessary steps to ensure reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities.

4. Women and children with disabilities

(1) The appropriate Government and the local authorities shall take measures to ensure that the women and children with disabilities enjoy their rights equally with others.
(2) The appropriate Government and local authorities shall ensure that all children with disabilities shall have right on an equal basis to freely express their views on all matters affecting them and provide them appropriate support keeping in view their age and disability.”.

5. Community life

(1) The persons with disabilities shall have the right to live in the community.
(2) The appropriate Government shall endeavour that the persons with disabilities
are,—
(a) not obliged to live in any particular living arrangement; and
(b) given access to a range of in-house, residential and other community support services, including personal assistance necessary to support living with due regard to age and gender.

6. Protection from cruelty and inhuman treatment

(1) The appropriate Government shall take measures to protect persons with disabilities from being subjected to torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
(2) No person with disability shall be a subject of any research without,—
(i) his or her free and informed consent obtained through accessible modes, means and formats of communication; and
(ii) prior permission of a Committee for Research on Disability constituted in the prescribed manner for the purpose by the appropriate Government in which not less than half of the Members shall themselves be either persons with disabilities or Members of the registered organisation as defined under clause (z) of section 2.

7. Protection from abuse, violence and exploitation

(1) 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.

(2) Any person or registered organisation who or which has reason to believe that an act of abuse, violence or exploitation has been, or is being, or is likely to be committed against any person with disability, may give information about it to the Executive Magistrate within the local limits of whose jurisdiction such incidents occur.

(3) The Executive Magistrate on receipt of such information, shall take immediate steps to stop or prevent its occurrence, as the case may be, or pass such order as he deems fit for the protection of such person with disability including an order—
(a) to rescue the victim of such act, authorising the police or any organisation working for persons with disabilities to provide for the safe custody or rehabilitation of such person, or both, as the case may be;
(b) for providing protective custody to the person with disability, if such person so desires;
(c) to provide maintenance to such person with disability.

(4) Any police officer who receives a complaint or otherwise comes to know of abuse, violence or exploitation towards any person with disability shall inform the aggrieved person of—
(a) his or her right to apply for protection under sub-section (2) and the particulars of the Executive Magistrate having jurisdiction to provide assistance;
(b) the particulars of the nearest organisation or institution working for the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities;
(c) the right to free legal aid; and
(d) the right to file a complaint under the provisions of this Act or any other law dealing with such offence:

Provided that nothing in this section shall be construed in any manner as to relieve the police officer from his duty to proceed in accordance with law upon receipt of information as to the commission of a cognizable offence.

(5) If the Executive Magistrate finds that the alleged act or behaviour constitutes an offence under the Indian Penal Code, or under any other law for the time being in force, he may forward the complaint to that effect to the Judicial or Metropolitan Magistrate, as the case may be, having jurisdiction in the matter.

8. Protection and safety

(1) The persons with disabilities shall have equal protection and safety in situations of risk, armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters.
(2) The National Disaster Management Authority and the State Disaster Management Authority shall take appropriate measures to ensure inclusion of persons with disabilities in its disaster management activities as defined under clause (e) of section 2 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 for the safety and protection of persons with disabilities.
(3) The District Disaster Management Authority constituted under section 25 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 shall maintain record of details of persons with disabilities in the district and take suitable measures to inform such persons of any situations of risk so as to enhance disaster preparedness.
(4) The authorities engaged in reconstruction activities subsequent to any situation of risk, armed conflict or natural disasters shall undertake such activities, in consultation with the concerned State Commissioner, in accordance with the accessibility requirements of persons with disabilities.

9. Home and family

(1) No child with disability shall be separated from his or her parents on the ground of disability except on an order of competent court, if required, in the best interest of the child.
(2) Where the parents are unable to take care of a child with 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 organisation, as may be required.

10. Reproductive rights

(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.

11. Accessibility in voting

The Election Commission of India and the State Election Commissions shall ensure that all polling stations are accessible to persons with disabilities and all materials related to the electoral process are easily understandable by and accessible to them.

12. Access to justice

(1) The appropriate Government shall ensure that persons with disabilities are able to exercise the right to access any court, tribunal, authority, commission or any other body having judicial or quasi-judicial or investigative powers without discrimination on the basis of disability.
(2) The appropriate Government shall take steps to put in place suitable support measures for persons with disabilities specially those living outside family and those disabled requiring high support for exercising legal rights.
(3) The National Legal Services Authority and the State Legal Services Authoritiesbconstituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 shall make provisions including reasonable accommodation to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to any scheme, programme, facility or service offered by them equally with others.
(4) The appropriate Government shall take steps to—
(a) ensure that all their public documents are in accessible formats;
(b) ensure that the filing departments, registry or any other office of records are supplied with necessary equipment to enable filing, storing and referring to the documents and evidence in accessible formats; and
(c) make available all necessary facilities and equipment to facilitate recording of testimonies, arguments or opinion given by persons with disabilities in their preferred language and means of communication.

13. Legal capacity

(1) The appropriate Government shall ensure that the persons with disabilities have right, 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 the 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 disability in a particular financial, property or other economic transaction, then such supporting person shall abstain from providing support to the person with disability in that transaction: Provided that there shall not be a presumption of conflict of interest just on the basis that the supporting person is related to the person with disability by blood, affinity or adoption.
(4) A person with disability may alter, modify or dismantle any support arrangement and seek the support of another: Provided that such alteration, modification or dismantling shall be prospective in nature and shall not nullify any third party transaction entered into by the person with disability with the aforesaid support arrangement.
(5) Any person providing support to the person with disability shall not exercise undue influence and shall respect his or her autonomy, dignity and privacy.

14. Provision for guardianship

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, on and from the date of commencement of this Act, where a district court or any designated authority, as notified by the State Government, finds that a person with disability, who had been provided adequate and appropriate support but is unable to take legally binding decisions, may be provided further support of a limited guardian to take legally binding decisions on his behalf in consultation with such person, in such manner, as may be prescribed by the State Government:

Provided that the District Court or the designated authority, as the case may be, may grant total support to the person with disability requiring such support or where the limited guardianship is to be granted repeatedly, in which case, the decision regarding the support to be provided shall be reviewed by the Court or the designated authority, as the case may be, to determine the nature and manner of support to be provided.

Explanation.—For the purposes of this sub-section, “limited guardianship” means a system of joint decision which operates on mutual understanding and trust between the guardian and the person with disability, which shall be limited to a specific period and for specific decision and situation and shall operate in accordance to the will of the person with disability.

(2) On and from the date of commencement of this Act, every guardian appointed under any provision of any other law for the time being in force, for a person with disability shall be deemed to function as a limited guardian.
(3) Any person with disability aggrieved by the decision of the designated authority appointing a legal guardian may prefer an appeal to such appellate authority, as may be notified by the State Government for the purpose.

15. Designation of authorities to support

(1) The appropriate Government shalldesignate one or more authorities to mobilise the community and create social awareness to support persons with disabilities in exercise of their legal capacity.
(2) The authority designated under sub-section (1) shall take measures for setting up suitable support arrangements to exercise legal capacity by persons with disabilities living in institutions and those with high support needs and any other measures as may be required.

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