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Set up special courts in each district to try offences against disabled persons: SC to states, UTs

A bench of Justices Dipak Misra, A M Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar also directed them to appoint Special Public Prosecutor in each district for conducting trial in such cases and directed them to file compliance report by August 16. It directed SC registry to send its order to chief secretaries of all states and directed them to take immediate steps to comply with its direction.

Within a fortnight after the Centre notified Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016, the apex court took upon itself the task to ensure compliance of the new law in letter and spirit by the governments and decided to monitor its implementation. The new law provides for special courts to deal with crime committed against disabled persons.

The Act has replaced the Persons with Disabilities Act 1995 and it was framed to make Indian law compliant with the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The number of disabilities listed has gone up from seven in the 1995 Act to 21, including acid attack and Parkinson's disease.

The new law sets a two-year deadline for the government to ensure barrier-free access in all kinds of physical infrastructure and transport systems for disabled persons. It also said that all government institutions of higher education receiving aid from the government shall reserve not less than five per cent. seats for persons with benchmark disabilities.

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