Rehabilitation of Cured Mental Patients
The Apex Court of the country has issued the guidelines regarding the rehabilitation of cured mental patients. The guidelines are for patients who have been cured of their mental illness but are still in an asylum due to the non-acceptance by their families or homelessness.
The previous guidelines were in regard to the setting up of rehabilitation homes for cured patients. These guidelines were for those coming within the following criteria:
(i) Those who are living with mental illnesses who have been cured;
(ii) Those who do not need further hospitalization;
(iii) Those who are homeless; and
(iv) Those Who has not been accepted by their families.
The need for recent judgment
The need for the recent judgment was to curb the non-implication of the guidelines of the Supreme Court by some of the States and Union Territories. The bench comprising of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta heard the case. The petition is based on the grounds of non-compliance by some States and Union Territories.
The Union of India has submitted a set of guidelines. The guidelines consist of the framework that the Union Territories and the State Government has to follow. They will build halfway homes and long – stay homes for the deinstitutionalized persons. The Central and State governments will expand their current rehabilitation homes. In addition, they may also take the help of the NGOs for their establishment.
The bench of the judges, in this case, passed the guidelines. In addition, it is of the view besides the State Governments setting up their own Homes. Accredited NGOs with a proven track record would ensure their efforts. It encouraged taking the benefit of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme by seeking financial assistance. The bench asked the State government and the Union Territories to lay down the infrastructure. In addition, it also asked for the framework for the establishment of the halfway and long term homes.
The judges gave the guidelines which are as follows:
1. 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.
2. 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. For ensuring that due publicity is given to the guidelines Union of India issued to facilitate accredited NGOs taking the benefit of the Scheme.
3. 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. The 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.
1. The Union of India should suggest a road map with regard to each State Government and Union Territory. The State and the Union Territory would get the report consequently the court would start the proceedings.
2. Secretary conveys a meeting in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India that is to say all the Secretaries of the corresponding departments of the State Governments/Union Territories shall attend it. The senior amongst the Secretaries in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment shall chair the meeting.
3. 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. The data in terms of the present order shall invite serious results. It is leading to an invocation of the contempt jurisdiction.
The guidelines need proper implementation. It is the duty of the State government and the Union Territories to implement them properly. Our country is a welfare state. It becomes obligatory for our government to look after everyone. These guidelines are for the benefit of society and the helpless people.