SC raps Centre over the treatment meted out to mentally ill patients in Badaun hospital


[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Above: A mentally unstable patient (representative image). Photo courtesy: www.hrw.org By Kunal Rao The Supreme Court has issued notice to Centre on a PIL alleging inhumane treatment to mentally unfit patients lodged in Faith Based Mental Asylum situated in UP. Court sought reply from Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who fairly accepted the position and requested two days time to look into the matter. “This is not only inhumane and violative of rights of such persons under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, as even a person suffering from mental disability is still a human being and his dignity cannot be violated. It is also against the spirit of Section 95 of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017,” said the bench of Justices A K Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer. Acting upon a plea filed by Gaurav Kumar Bansal, the bench of Justices observed that the issue raised was of serious concern and needed immediate attention. Taking seriousness of the fact, the apex court immediately issued notice to the Centre and Balram Das, Advocate on Record accepted notice on behalf of the Centre. The PIL has alleged that some patients suffering from mental illness that are lodged in Faith Based Mental Asylum situated near Mohalla Kabulpur, District Badaun, Uttar Pradesh, are kept under chains. In order to support his submissions, Bansal also placed some photographs of such persons which were annexed with the petition. Court also noted that the current practice is against the Section 95 of the Mental Health Care Act 2017 which clearly specifies the “Prohibited Procedures”.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1546603626897{border-top-width: 10px !important;border-right-width: 10px !important;border-bottom-width: 10px !important;border-left-width: 10px !important;padding-top: 10px !important;padding-right: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 10px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;background-color: #d6d6d6 !important;border-left-color: #d8d8d8 !important;border-right-color: #d8d8d8 !important;border-top-color: #d8d8d8 !important;border-bottom-color: #d8d8d8 !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}"]Prohibited procedures (1) notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, the following treatments shall not be performed on any person with mental illness— (a) electro-convulsive therapy without the use of muscle relaxants and anaesthesia; (b) electro-convulsive therapy for minors; (c) sterilisation of men or women, when such sterilisation is intended as a treatment for mental illness; (d) chained in any manner or form whatsoever. (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), if, in the opinion of psychiatrist in charge of a minor's treatment, electro-convulsive therapy is required, then, such treatment shall be done with the informed consent of the guardian and prior permission of the concerned Board.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Taking seriousness of the fact, the court also requested SG Tushar Mehta to appear on behalf of Centre. Mehta requested two days time to seek instructions into the matter. The matter will be heard again on Jan 7, 2019.

—India Legal Bureau

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