Coronary heart ailment will not be a incapacity underneath the Rights of Individuals with Disabilities Act, 2016
Case name: Nawal Kishore Sharma v. Union of India
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In a recent judgment, the Supreme Court held that the Heart ailment cannot be included as a disability under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act. In this case, the Petitioner i.e., Mr. Nawal Kishore Sharma had challenged the High Court’s rejection of his claim for disability compensation under clause 21 of the National Maritime Board Agreement.
The Supreme Court Bench upheld the judgment of the Patna High Court which concluded that the dilated cardiomyopathy condition suffered by the seaman would not facilitate any benefit to the appellant under Section 47 of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act.
The Bench further stated that Section 2(i) of the Act takes into account visual disability, locomotor disability, mental illness, mental retardation, hearing impairment, and leprosy. A heart ailment is not covered within the definition of disability in the Act. We would hesitate to import words, which the legislature chose not to, in their definition of disability.
The court also stated that with respect to the case in hand, no linkage between the on-ship duty and the appellant’s medical condition could be established. The dilated cardiomyopathy condition of the appellant is neither a specified disability nor is the same relatable to the broad spectrum of impairments, which hinders his full and effective participation in society.