Mentally Ill Patients Kept Under Chain: SC issues Notice To Centre, States

Mentally Ill Patients Kept Under Chain: SC issues Notice To Centre, States

The Supreme Court bench of Justices A. K. Sikri and Abdul Nazeer on Monday issued notice to the Centre and all states on a PIL filed in the interest of proper healthcare and treatment facilities to mental patients.

Petitioner Gaurav Kumar Bansal has alleged that some of the patients, suffering from a mental illness, who are lodged in a Faith-Based Mental Asylum situated near Mohalla Kabulpur, Badayun District, Uttar Pradesh, are kept under chains. Certain photographs were also placed on record. Mentally Ill Patients Kept Under Chain: SC issues Notice To Centre, StatesMentally Ill Patients Kept Under Chain: SC issues Notice To Centre, States

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Monday informed the court that due cognizance of the issue has been taken and a team was constituted for the inspection of the said asylum- "it is not an asylum but it appears to be a 'dargah'. There seems to be a belief that a person who is 'possessed' can be cured by keeping them at the 'dargah'. Family members of such persons themselves chain them at that place so that they do not escape...our team found 17 such persons there who have now been released and are now with their families...we also asked the woman performing the 'curing' to no engage in such activities..."

"Is this practice prevalent all over the country?", asked Justice Nazeer.

"Yes, all over the country and across religions", replied Mr. Mehta.

"It is not the people taken there, but the people who take them there who are mentally ill", remarked Justice Nazeer.

"All of them may not be mentally ill. Even if someone is suffering, how they are treated is important...", observed Justice Sikri. "Absolutely! They have to be treated with delicateness", agreed the SG.

"Someone has rightly said that all of us are only temporarily sane...we might suffer from depression or something...nobody knows when some psychiatric problem may come up...", observed Justice Sikri.

"In the US, the statistics are that one in every four individuals is a psychiatric patient. So it is a joke that if everyone around you is fine, then you may be the patient", added the SG in a lighter vein.