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Scope of Disability Laws


Issues relating to persons with disability were covered by the general laws prior to the PWD Act coming into existence in 1995. Unfortunately, the provisions of the PWD Act have not been fully implemented till date. Time and again the Court’s intervention has been sought in this area.

Apart from the problem of non-implementation, the PWD Act posed another challenge. It created a certain confusion regarding the definition of terminology. Here too the judiciary played a key role in providing this definitional clarification. This intervention was of immense value in situations where either the government departments or the public sector attempted to find loopholes in the law to take shelter under the same.

The fact that was slowly brought home by the courts - is that the PWD Act overrides all other legislations…..

Where there have been clashes between the Act and other existing legislations, and where two interpretations are possible, the one, which advances the objective of the Act has been accepted.  Interestingly, the courts also upheld the applicability of the Act in issues relating to incidents before 1995. 

The Courts have also helped in clarifying the scope of the definition of disability and in a case, had recommended the Airport Authority of India to consider a pilot with heart disease for alternative employment since it can lead to disability later.

In another instance, responding to the question whether a person who with disability should be given preference over a person who acquired disability at a later, the Court said that no such difference existed under the Act – and that the only objective of the Act was to encourage disabled people to get the privileges irrespective of the nature of their disability.

Judgments related to "Scope of Disability Laws"

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