Directing the parents to pay 50 percent of the amount directed to be paid to their daughter, the Supreme Court has partly stayed the Delhi High Court order that directed them to pay compensation to their daughter for forcibly picking her up from the residence of her music teachers and detaining her in a mental institution where she was forced to spend one day and one night.
Both the parents and the hospital had approached the apex court assailing the high court verdict.
A bench headed by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra issued the following order on the parents’ petition: “Having heard Ms. Sonia Mathur, learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioners we think it appropriate to direct that 50% of the amount shall be paid by the petitioners/parents. The rest of the amount, as directed by the High Court to be paid by the parents, shall remain stayed. “
Permitting SLP to be filed by the hospital, the bench directed that before the Medical Council of India (MCI) takes any action against the doctors concerned on the basis of the high court order, it shall take leave of the apex court.
In this case, the high court had observed that the act of the parents in forcibly taking away of the girl from the residence of the petitioners (her music teacher) on 11th June 2017 and her consequent detention at the private mental hospital till the morning hours of 13th June, 2017, was illegal and unconstitutional and violative of her fundamental rights to life, liberty, dignity and privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution of India and Section 19 of the MHA.
The high court, while issuing directives, observed: “Protection against an attack on the right of life, liberty, privacy and dignity can be sought not only against the State but also against non-State actors. Article 21 places an obligation both on state and non-state actors not to deprive a person of life, liberty, privacy and dignity except in accordance with the procedure established by law. In other words, Articles 15 (2), 17, 19, 21 and 23 acknowledge the horizontal nature of those fundamental rights. They can be enforced against not just the State but non-state actors as well.”