Over 220 disability rights organizations and activists have responded to the Law Commission's call for public opinions on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) by emphasizing the importance of aligning the UCC with existing laws that protect the rights of persons with disabilities (PwDs).
In their comprehensive submission, endorsed by prominent activists, lawyers, and individuals with disabilities, the advocates stressed the need to safeguard the rights of PwDs and ensure their active participation in shaping the UCC's formulation. Anticipated to encompass aspects like marriage, adoption, inheritance, and property rights, the draft UCC prompted concerns that its implementation without due consideration could have significant implications for individuals with disabilities, according to PTI.
The disability rights advocates urged for a nuanced approach to address the specific vulnerabilities faced by PwDs and recommended comprehensive consultations with them and their representative organizations. They emphasized the significance of understanding and addressing their lived experiences and challenges throughout the drafting process.
Notably, the submission highlighted the importance of harmonizing Indian laws with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) provisions, amending constitutional provisions to prohibit disability-based discrimination, and eliminating discriminatory clauses against PwDs in various laws. The advocates also proposed building upon the protective measures provided by the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, and the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, to ensure equal rights and protections for PwDs within their familial and societal contexts.
Among the signatories were esteemed individuals and organizations, including Muralidharan (National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled General Secretary), Roma Bhagat (Advocate, Delhi High Court), Seema Baquer (cross-disability professional), and Sadhna Arya (gender and disability activist). The submission was endorsed by NPRD, Multiple Sclerosis Society of India - Chennai Chapter, Action For Autism, Shishu Sarothi Centre for Rehabilitation & Training for Multiple Disability, and several other prominent organizations dedicated to championing disability rights.