Office of The Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities
Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India

Information Handbook under Right to Information Act, 2005

Chapter 2 - Particulars of Organization, Functions and Duties

2.1 Particulars of the organization

The meeting to launch the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons 1993-2002 was convened by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP) at Beijing in December, 1992, which adopted the Proclamation on the Full Participation and Equality of People with Disabilities in Asian and Pacific Region. India is a signatory to the said proclamation. Therefore, in order to implement the Proclamation, Government of India enacted The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 (hereinafter referred to as the Persons with Disabilities Act), which came into effect from 7th February 1996.

It has been provided in the PWD Act that there shall be a Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities and every State will have a Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities. Accordingly, office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities was established by the Govt. of India, which started functioning with effect from October, 1998. The office is located at Sarojini House, 6 ,Bhagwan Das Road, New Delhi-110 001.

The organisation hierarchy of the Office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities is as under:

  • CHIEF COMMISSIONER - 1
    • DY. CHIEF COMMISSIONER - 2
      • DESK OFFICER - 2
      • PRIVATE SECRETARY - 1
      • ACCOUNTANT - 1
      • PA - 6
      • RESEARCH ASSTT. - 1
      • LDC - 4
      • DRIVER - 1
      • PEON - 2
      • SAFAIWALA - 1

2.2 Powers of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities

As per Section 63 of the Act, the Chief Commissioner and the Commissioners have the same powers as are vested in a court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 while trying a suit, in respect of the following matters, namely -

  1. Summoning and enforcing the attendance of witnesses;
  2. Requiring the discovery and production of any document;
  3. Requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office;
  4. Receiving evidence on affidavits; and
  5. Issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents.

Every proceeding before the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities is a judicial proceeding within the meaning of sections 193 and 228 of the Indian Penal Code and the Chief Commissioner shall be deemed to be a civil court for the purpose of section 195 and Chapter XXVI of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

Being the Head of the Department, all administrative and financial powers are vested in the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities or in his/her absence, in the Deputy Chief Commissioner, duly authorized by the Government.

Chief Commissioner is assisted by Dy. Chief Commissioner, Desk Officers and other staff members for discharging his/her duties.

2.3 Functions of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities

The functions of the Chief Commissioner, as defined in Section 58 and 59 of the Act are as under -

  1. Coordinate the work of the Commissioners;
  2. Monitor the utilization of funds disbursed by the Central Government;
  3. Take steps to safeguard the rights and facilities made available to persons with disabilities;
  4. Submit reports to the Central Government on the implementation of the Act;
  5. Look into the complaints, on his/her own motion or on the application of any aggrieved person or otherwise, with respect to the following matters:

    • deprivation of rights of persons with disabilities;
    • non-implementation of laws, rules, bye-laws, regulations, executive orders, guidelines or instructions made or issued by the appropriate Governments and the local authorities for the welfare and protection of rights of persons with disabilities and take up the matter with appropriate authorities.

2.4 Mission/Vision Statement

Vision

An India, which places its citizens with disabilities on the same platform as the non-disabled citizens.

Mission

  • To protect the rights of citizens with disabilities
  • To create Equal opportunities for Full Participation of Persons with Disabilities so that they can lead a life of Equality and Dignity.
  • To promote an Inclusive, Barrier-free and Rights-based Society for Persons with Disabilities.

2.5 Mechanism available for monitoring the service delivery and procedure for redressal of public grievance

For monitoring and reviewing the status of implementation of the PwD Act, reports are called from the Commissioners, Disabilities of the States/UTs. Besides, an annual meeting of Commissioners, Disabilities of the States/UTs is organized by the Office of the CCPD for the purpose.

Office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities also conducts workshops for creating awareness and promotion of major focus areas such as inclusive education, employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, barrier free environment, etc. In the year 2005-06, Training Workshops are also being conducted for creation of "Resource Pool of Access Auditors" throughout the country. The services of the trained Access Auditors will be utilized by the concerned organizations for creating barrier free built environment at public places or public utility buildings.

Office of the CCPD, on its own motion or on the application of any aggrieved person takes up the matter related to non-implementation of Act, Rules, Laws, Instructions issued by the Government organizations, etc. with the concerned organizations.

The procedure for submission of complaints before the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities has been prescribed in Rule 42 of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and full Participation) Rules, 1996, which is as under -

  1. A written complaint containing the details in respect of name, description and address of the complainant as well as the opposite parties, the facts relating to the complaint, documents in support of the allegations and the relief which the complainant claims, shall be presented by the complainant in person or by his authorized person to the Chief Commissioner;
  2. The Chief Commissioner on receipt of a complaint shall refer a copy of the complaint to the opposite party/parties directing him to give his version of the case within a period of 30 days or such extended period not exceeding 15 days as may be granted by the Chief Commissioner;
  3. On the date of hearing or any other date to which hearing could be adjourned, it shall be obligatory on the parties or their agents to appear before the Chief Commissioner;
  4. Where the complainant or his agent fails to appear before the Chief Commissioner on such days, the Chief Commissioner may in his/her discretion either dismiss the complaint on default or decide on merits;
  5. Where the opposite party or his agent fails to appear on the date of hearing the Chief Commissioner may take such necessary action under Section 63 of the Act as he deems fit for summoning and enforcing the attendance of the opposite party;
  6. The Chief Commissioner may dispose of the complaint exparte, if necessary;
  7. The Chief Commissioner may on such terms as he/she deems fit and at any stage of the proceedings, adjourn the hearing of the complaint;
  8. The complaint shall be decided, as far as, possible, within a period of three months from the date of notice received by the opposite party.

In accordance with the above procedure, the complaints received by post, facsimile or e-mail are put up to the Chief Commissioner/Deputy Chief Commissioner.

Use of e-mail/fax is encouraged even for filing complaints which prioritized according to the nature of the issue. For example, cases relating to admissions in reserved quota under Section 39 of the Act, recruitment, entrance examinations, etc. are taken up immediately with the concerned organisations by adopting the fastest mode of communication such as telephone, email, fax, speed post in an effort to ensure that the complainant gets relief in the same academic year/examination process. In case any request for information or clarification is received by fax/e-mail, it is disposed off at the level of Dy. Chief Commissioner immediately by return fax/e-mail.

Other cases of complaints received by post/fax/email which require detailed examination are marked by the Chief Commissioner/Dy. Chief Commissioner to the Desk Officers who, in turn mark these to the dealing staff/stenographers. Cases of prima facie violation of provisions of the PwD Act, Rules & Regulations or deprivation of rights of persons with disabilities, are examined and registered under Section 59 of the PwD Act and notices of complaint to show cause are issued to the respondents.

The show cause notices are quite detailed pointing out the violation of the relevant provision of the Section of the Act, Rules, Regulations etc. and the possible remedial action that the respondent should take. If the remedial action is taken, the case is disposed off at that stage itself and appropriate order is passed. In other cases, on receipt of the replies of the opposite parties, the complainant is given the opportunity to file rejoinder. Thereafter, parties are given personal hearings by issuing summons under Section 63 of the PwD Act.

After hearing the parties, the Record of Proceedings containing interim order/advice are prepared on the spot and handed over to the parties. On compliance of interim direction/advice, the cases are disposed of by passing final orders.

Office of the Chief Commissioner also suo motu takes up a large number of cases on the basis of advertisements released by the establishments. Most of these cases pertain to violation of Section 33 and 39 of the Act which relate to reservation of vacancies in appointments and reservation of seats in admission to various courses of studies conducted by Government or Government aided educational institutions.

A large number of people with disabilities or their representatives are also given personal hearings even without any written complaint or prior appointment. Often, Complainants are assisted by the Officers and Staff Members in preparing representations/complaints and are also counseled.

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