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SC asks Centre to frame guidelines for rehabilitation of mentally ill

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Expressing concern over the well being of persons who have suffered mental ailments, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to frame guidelines for their rehabilitation as the issue was "very sensitive".

A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar observed that after mentally ill persons are cured, not even their family members are willing to take them back home.

"It is a very, very sensitive issue. You (Centre) should apply your mind. When a person goes to a mental asylum and after treatment he is cured, nobody is willing to take him back home. You (Centre) should think over it," the bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul, said.

Frame a policy, the apex court told the government’s counsel Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar even as it added that the government "cannot allow a person to be kept" in a mental asylum or a nursing home after he or she is fully cured of the ailment.

"They have to be brought back to civil society," the bench said.

"It is very easily achievable. You give us a model scheme. We will then put it to the state governments and ask them. Give us a scheme," the court told the Centre.

The apex court gave eight weeks time to the Centre for this after the Solicitor General told the bench that they needed some time as two ministries ~ Ministry of Health and Ministry of Social Justice ~ were involved in this process.

"The proposal made to the Centre by this court has been tentatively accepted and the Union of India will frame guidelines/scheme for rehabilitation of mentally sick persons, who are in a mental asylum or a nursing home, and have been fully cured after treatment," the bench said.