The Supreme Court today issued notices to six states on a petition seeking release of nearly 300 persons, who are still languishing in mental hospitals in Uttar Pradesh, some of them for several years, despite being cured of their ailments.
A bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice A M Khanwilkar issued notices to Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal Rajasthan, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir and Meghalaya on a PIL seeking release of persons, who are now fit for discharge from mental hospitals and steps to ensure their social security post-discharge.
Advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, who has filed the PIL in his personal capacity, said underprivileged persons are still languishing in mental hospitals despite being cured of their ailments and there was no policy in place to ensure their well being after the release.
The plea also referred to responses received under RTI with regard to release of persons who are languishing in mental hospitals at Bareilly, Varanasi and Agra in Uttar Pradesh even after being cured from their ailments.
The queries, which were posed under transparency law to Mental Health Hospital, Bareilly, Institute of Mental Health and Hospital, Agra and Mental Hospital, Varanasi, pertained to names, residential address and age of the patients who are now normal and waiting for their discharge from hospitals.
Bansal had also sought information about the year in which the patients were declared fit for the discharge. The plea has sought issuance of directions to the states and others to forthwith make arrangements to shift the patients, who are absolutely normal and are fit for discharge, from the mental hospitals to any other secure place like Old Age Home etc. Issue appropriate Writ/Orders/Directions to the respondents to formulate effective and proper guidelines for the relief and rehabilitation of such normal female and male patients, it said.
Read the petition here.