Disability, discrimination and Indian laws
The common notion among people in the disability sector is that ‘capacity’ or ‘legal capacity’ is something that only people of ‘unsound mind’ need to worry about. When the Legal Review team of National Disability Network and Disabled Rights Group, which is drafting the Parallel Report on the implementation of the UN Convention for the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) in India, undertook a review of some 2000 odd national laws, the findings were an eye-opener. Bhargavi Davar, Co-Chair of National Alliance on Access to Justice for Persons Living with Mental Illness (N.A.A.J.M.I.), and a member of the Legal Review team writes about the 150 odd laws that discriminate against not only people of ‘unsound mind’ but also those with ‘physical and mental defect’, ‘incapacity’, ‘physical and mental infirmity’, ‘deaf mute’, ‘blind’, ‘contagious leprosy’, ‘leprosy cured’, ‘epilepsy’ and many more.