SC directs the authorities to vaccinate mentally ill patients residing in hospitals and mental health institutions

On Wednesday a direction was issued by the Supreme Court of India to vaccinate the mental health patients residing in the mental healthcare institutions and hospital in a timely manner. A report is to be at Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on or before October 15, 2021 regarding the progress of the vaccination drive.

In this case, the Apex court was hearing a plea filed by Advocate Gaurav Bansal who had sought for rehabilitation of the mentally ill patients. The Court took into consideration the recommendation issued by the Additional Solicitor General Madhavi Divan and thus directed all the States and Union Territories to develop an online portal in a month that contains the information with regard to the occupancy rates, availability of institutions and the facilities being provided by the such mental health institution. The data on the online portal must be updated on a real-time basis.

The bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, Vikram Nath and Hima Kohli further held that the State’s responsibility is to rehabilitate such individuals and not just relocate them. A status report is to be filed by the Centre in the last week of December 2021 which is the next date of hearing.

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