SC seeks reply from states, UTs on rehabilitation homes for mentally ill

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought reports from state governments and Union Territories within two weeks on the status of setting up rehabilitation homes for people with mental illness.

In compliance with the Centre’s guidelines, ten states and a UT have filed their response on setting up of rehabilitation homes for persons living with mental illness (who have been cured, or who do not need further hospitalisation, or who are homeless or are not accepted by their families).

A bench of Justices UU Lalit and DY Chandrachud which issued the fresh notice said that it will go into the merits of the case after all states and UTs have filed their responses in two weeks.

Petitioner in-person advocate Gaurav Bansal said that more than 15,000 people are forced to stay with the mentally ill patients. He said that except for few, many states and UTs have not complied with the order of July 10, 2017, in which they were asked to implement the guidelines prepared by Centre within one year period.

The apex court bench said it will take up the matter for hearing immediately after three weeks and asked Bansal to prepare a chart based on the replies filed by the state.

States and UTs which have filed their response include Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Meghalaya, Punjab, Nagaland, West Bengal, Telangana, Tripura, Delhi, Puducherry and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

On July 10 last year, the apex court had taken on record the affidavit filed by Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities of Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment by which it had highlighted the guidelines for the State Governments for setting up rehabilitation homes for persons living with mental illness.

The apex court had asked the Union Ministry to circulate the guidelines to all the state governments and UTs, with a direction to implement them within one year.

It had also directed the state governments to comply with the provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 and file a status report most definitely before August 1, 2018.

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