Report No. 256
The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988
After the first proviso to sub-section (4) under Section 8 of the Act, the following proviso shall be inserted, namely:
Provided further that the licensing authority shall not refuse to issue a learner's licence to a person affected by Leprosy, who has been certified by a registered medical practitioner, as having either been cured of Leprosy, or as having been administered with the first dose under Multi-Drug Therapy, with continuing treatment for Leprosy being provided.
(iii) Provisions enabling the government to undertake affirmative action in the following areas be introduced:
Ownership of property
Awareness and training
Participation of Persons affected by Leprosy in the formulation of policies
Setting-up of a Central and State Commission on Leprosy, to monitor the compliance of the provisions of the Act in respect of public and private establishments and to make recommendations to the Central or State Government, as applicable, for the proper implementation of this Act.
7.12 Although amendments can be made in each and every law specified above, the Commission recommends that a single statute should deal with all aspects of rights of Persons affected by Leprosy and their family members. This will ensure coherence and send out a strong signal of the resolve of the Government of India to tackle discrimination faced by Persons affected by Leprosy.
7.13 This statute should be titled as the "Elimination of Discrimination against Persons affected by Leprosy Bill, 2015". This stand-alone law, apart from comprehensively covering the repeal/modification of the specified statutes, shall contain principles of non-discrimination and equal protection before law.
These principles shall specify that (1) No person, or public or private establishment shall discriminate against any person affected by Leprosy, or members of his family on any ground in relation to their affliction of Leprosy, or their disability, physical attributes or any other form of their association with Leprosy; and (2) All persons affected by Leprosy and members of their family shall be entitled to the recognition, enjoyment and exercise, on an equal basis, of all human rights including freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution of India. Further, the law shall also contain enabling provisions regarding affirmative action and repeal and amend discriminatory provisions listed above.
7.14 A model Bill is provided in the Annexure for the consideration of the Government of India. The Law Commission of India believes that the fact that India is home to the most number of Persons affected by Leprosy in the world is a matter of deep shame. Further, despite clear scientific evidence and pioneering social efforts, the stigma associated with leprosy still continues unabated.
The proposed Bill is an important step in eliminating the social discrimination faced by such persons, a necessary precursor to their reintegration into society. As a humane society that believes in human rights for all, especially its poorest, the Law Commission believes that the Bill should be converted into a law as expeditiously as possible by the Government of India.
[Justice A.P. Shah]
[Justice S.N. Kapoor]
[Prof. (Dr.) Mool Chand Sharma]
[Justice Usha Mehra]
[Dr. (Mrs.) Pawan Sharma]
[Dr. Sanjay Singh]