20th Law Commission headed by Justice (retd) Ajit Prakash Shah on 7 April 2015 submitted the Report No 256 titled Eliminating Discrimination Against Persons Affected by Leprosy to the Union Ministry of Law and Justice.
In the report, the Law Commission has recommended immediate repeal, amendment or modification of certain specific provisions in the laws applicable to leprosy-affected people in order to make their application more amenable to the present-day developments in the treatment of Leprosy.
Status of Leprosy in India
Leprosy or Hansen’s disease is one of the oldest known diseases. It is triggered by the causative agent Mycobacterium Leprae, a bacillus which was first discovered by a Norwegian doctor, Gerhard Armauer Hansen in 1873.
In 2014, India had the largest number of new Leprosy cases globally (58%). From 2005 till 2014, the National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP) has recorded a rate of 1.25 to 1.35 lakh new cases every year, a majority being children, who are threatened with isolation and discrimination at a very young age.
Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT), recommended by the WHO in early 1980s, comprises of powerful drugs such as Rifamipicin, Clofazimine and others in combination with Dapsone. Through Multi-Drug Therapy more than 15 million persons have been cured in last two decades in India.
When: 7 April 2015