SC to hear PIL for discharge of 70 cured mental patients

New Delhi, June 14 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that it will hear, after its summer break, a PIL seeking the discharge of 70 patients who are cured of their mental ailments but still lodged with those under treatment at Bareilly Mental and Health Hospital in Uttar Pradesh.

Telling the PIL petitioner, lawyer Gaurav Kumar Bansal, that the matter would be heard on the opening of the court after summer break, a vacation bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice L.Nageswara Rao asked him why he did not approach the Allahabad High court.

Addressing the query, Bansal said that there were some difficulties in moving the high court as some of the patients who are now cured and have become normal are from other parts of the country including Kerala.

Seeking the release of former patients who have become absolutely normal now, he told the bench that they were living in pathetic conditions with mentally ill patients.

Seeking the discharge of 65 females and five males whose mental health has been restored, the PIL has sought the framing of guidelines for the relief and rehabilitation of the patients who have become normal.

Besides this, the petition has sought direction to three mental hospitals located at Agra, Bareilly and Varanasi to furnish the list of the patients who have been cured of their mental ailments but have not been discharged and are lodged with sick patients.

Giving the account of his meeting with three patients who are totally cured and are normal, Bansal said that all the three wanted to be discharged from the hospital so that they could go back to their places and live in a normal environment.

In his PIL, he said that he visited one of the wards in Bareilly hospital which had two rooms adjacent to each other and in each room, there were around 20 mentally ill patients. He said that what was disturbing was that along with mentally sick patients, the patients who are “absolutely normal and fit to be discharged are also living”.

He said that some of the women patients whose mental health has been restored now are in Bareilly hospital since 1982, 1984 and the 1990s.

–IANS

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