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Rehabilitation Of Cured Mental Patients: SC Issues Further Directions [Read Order]

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
4 March 2019 1:24 PM GMT
Rehabilitation Of Cured Mental Patients: SC Issues Further Directions [Read Order]
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The Supreme Court has issued some directives for rehabilitation of those who are cured of mental illness but still languishing in asylums due to unwillingness of their families to take them back. In July 2017, the Supreme Court had issued an order emphasizing the need for setting up rehabilitation homes for persons (i) living with mental illnesses who have been cured; (ii) who do...

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The Supreme Court has issued some directives for rehabilitation of those who are cured of mental illness but still languishing in asylums due to unwillingness of their families to take them back.

In July 2017, the Supreme Court had issued an order emphasizing the need for setting up rehabilitation homes for persons (i) living with mental illnesses who have been cured; (ii) who do not need further hospitalization; (iii) who are homeless; and (iv) who are not accepted by their families

The bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta were considering Contempt petitions that were initiated on the ground that there was non-compliance by some of the State Governments and the Union Territories.

The Union of India submitted a note containing a set of guidelines containing an enabling framework for State Governments and Union Territories in ensuring the setting up of 'Halfway Homes' and 'Long Stay Homes' for de-institutionalized persons. The guidelines envisage that the State Governments and the Union Territories must either expand their existing Homes or construct new Homes at their own cost. Alternatively, it suggested that the State Governments and the Union Territories can engage NGOs within their jurisdiction to set up rehabilitation Homes or expand existing Homes.

"In our view, both approaches can be complementary. Besides the State Governments setting up their own Homes, their efforts can be supplemented by ensuring that accredited NGOs with a proven track record are encouraged to take the benefit of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme by seeking financial assistance, as envisaged.", the bench said.

It then directed the Centre to verify the status of compliance from each of the State Governments and the Union Territories and require each of them to lay down a road map to ensure that necessary infrastructure is set up in the form of 'Halfway Homes' or, as the case may be, institutional arrangements for rehabilitation of long stay patients for whom institutionalized stay in a hospital environment is no longer necessary. A time schedule for implementation should be chalked out, the bench said. It then issued the following directives:

  • All the State Governments and the Union Territories shall submit full data to the Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, within a period of one month from today on the status of compliance and on the facilities for rehabilitation of de-institutionalized persons who have been treated for mental illnesses;
  • The data shall specifically incorporate a road map by each State Government and the Union Territory for setting up 'Halfway Homes' within their respective territories and for ensuring that due publicity is given to the guidelines issued by the Union of India to facilitate accredited NGOs taking the benefit of the Scheme;
  • On the basis of the data which is furnished by the State Governments and the Union Territories, the Union of India shall submit a further report to this Court in regard to the steps necessary to be taken by each State and Union Territory for due compliance with the earlier directions issued by this Court and with the present directions;
  • The Union of India should suggest a road map with regard to each State Government and Union Territory. The report shall be circulated to all the States and the Union Territories which would be heard by this Court when final directions are issued for compliance.
  • When a meeting is convened by the Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, it shall be attended by all the Secretaries of the corresponding departments of the State Governments/Union Territories. The meeting may be chaired by the senior amongst the Secretaries in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment;
  • Any default on the part of the State Governments and the Union Territories to cooperate with the Union of India and to submit a road map and data in terms of the present order shall invite serious consequences leading to invocation of the contempt jurisdiction

Read Order



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