February 27, 2014
We are shocked and dismayed that the government is proposing to promulgate an ordinance on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Such a move by a government which is on its way out, you will appreciate, is unconstitutional.
Sir, you will concur that passing such an important legislation touching the lives of a sizeable section of the population, without a proper debate in both houses of parliament and addressing various concerns would not have been correct.
We are of the opinion that as the Rights of Persons with Disabiilties Bill has been referred to the Standing Committee, it would be appropriate to wait for the recommendations of the Committee, before which all stakeholders should get an opportunity to place their concerns.
Even if the ordinance is promulgated, it would be farfetched to imagine that the delivery mechanisms and institutions promised in it would be constituted within the next few months.
We would therefore urge upon you not to sign such an ordinance that would legitimize a Bill that has not been scrutinized by parliament and gone through the democratic process.
In the interregnum the government can bring in an ordinance to bring under the purview of the 1995 Act, disabilities that are left out and are listed in the 2014 Bill sent to the Standing Committee.
Shri Pranab Mukherjee