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Why history matters so muclh matters so much Should Article 35A be scrapped? Ansher
ACT ONE Another step in the battle against leprosy Amendments to laws that discriminate against leprosy patients RISENADAS RAJAGOPAL bers" that it was intro- duced. India has signed and ratified the Over 110 Central and State laws discriminate apainst leprosy patients. The biased provisions in these statutes were introduced prior to medical advance ments now, modern med vorce. The condition ago to introduce amend- icine (specifically, multi under Section 18 2) (c) of ments in personal laws drug therapy) completely the Hindu Adoptions and and other statutes. cures the disease. These Maintenance Act, that a Further, the Rajya Sab laws stigmatise and isolate Hindu wife is entitled to ha Committee on Peti- leprosy patients and, cou live separately from her tions, in its 131st Report on pled with age-old beliefs husband without forfeit Petition praying for inte- about leprosy, cause the ing her claim to mainte gration and empower- patients untold suffering nance if the latter is "suf ment of leprosy-affected The proposed law fol lows a National Human Rights Commission re cnmenodation a e adAnother step in the battle against leprosy Topic- GS Prelims,GSM3 erContext-Amendments to laws that The Personal Laws fering from a virulent persons, had examined (Amendment) Bill, 2018, form ofleprosy , has been various statutes and de seeks to make a start in omitted The amend sired that concerned Mi- amending these statutes, ments introduced in the nistries and State govern It attempts to end the dis Bill omit the provisions ments urgently wipe clean crimination against lepro which stigmatise and dis the anachronistic and dis- sy persons in various cen- criminate against leprosy criminatory provisions in tral laws: the Divorce Act, affected persons. 1869, the Dissolutionf The Bill is meant to pro The Law Commission Muslim Marriages Act, vide for the integration of of India, in its 256th Re 1939; the Special Marriage leprosy patients into the port, Eliminating discrim- Act, 1954; the Hindu Mar mainstream. It is in keep ination against persons af- riage Act, 1955; and the ing with the UN General fected by leprosy, had Hindu Adoptions and Assembly Resolution of aso recommended re Maintenance Act of 1956) 2010 on the "Elimination moving the discriminat discriminate against leprosy patients prevalent statutes. The Bill eliminates le of discrimination against ry provisions in various prosy as a ground for dis persons affected by lepro- statutes against leprosy solution of marriage or d sy and their family mem- patients. PIC CREDITTHE HINDU Page-9
1ANOTHER STEP IN THE BATTLE AGAINST LEPROSY Over I10 Central and State laws discriminate against leprosy patients. . The biased provisions in these statutes were introduced prior to medical advancements; now, modern medicine (specifically, multidrug therapy) completely cures the disease. These laws stigmatise and isolate leprosy patients and, coupled with age-old beliefs about leprosy, cause the patients untold suffering.
The Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018,seeks to make a start in amending these statutes. . It attempts to end the discrimination against leprosy persons in various central laws: the Divorce Act, 1869; the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939:the Special Marriage Act, 1954;the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955; and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act of 1956 The Bill eliminates leprosy as a ground for dissolution of marriage or divorce
The condition under Section 18 (2) (c) of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, that a Hindu wife is entitled to live separately from her husband without forfeiting her claim to maintenance if the latter is "suffering from a virulent form of leprosy" has been omitted. The amendments introduced in the Bill omit the provisions which stigmatise and discriminate against leprosy affected persons.
The Bill is meant to provide for the integration of leprosy patients into the mainstream, . It is in keeping with the UN General Assembly_Resolution of 2010 on the 'Elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members' that it was introduced India has signed and ratified the Resolution. . The proposed law follows a National Human Rights Commission recommendation_a decade ago to introduce amendments in personal laws and other statutes.
Further, the Rajya Sabha Committee on Petitions, in its 131st Report on 'Petition praying for integration and empowerment of leprosy-affected persons', had examined various statutes and desired that concerned Ministries and State governments urgently wipe clean the anachronistic and discriminatory provisions in prevalent statutes. The Law Commission of India, in its 256th Report, 'Eliminating discrimination against persons affected by leprosy',had also recommended removing the discriminatory provisions in various statutes against leprosy patients.
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