New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought responses from the Centre and state governments to a plea for improving the condition of mental hospitals in the country by providing adequate financial resources.
A bench headed by Justice K S Radhakrishnan asked the governments to file their responses on the petition filed by National Human Rights Commission seeking its direction to set up more mental health hospital and make them mode autonomous.
"The mental health hospitals in the country are facing serious financial constraints as adequate resources allocation is not being made to meet their requirements. The Centre and state governments should accord priority in allocation of financial resources both for the regular maintenance and the upgradation of the physical infrastructure of these institutions," the Commission said.
It said many of the mental hospitals are 100 to 150 years old and they do not receive the same priority as general health.
It said each state and Union Territory must have one mental health hospital fully equipped with latest equipment and sufficient medical and para medical manpower and such hospitals be made autonomous.
"Lack of adequate administrative and financial powers of the Directors and the Superintendents of the Hospitals is seriously affecting their functioning.
Therefore, these institutions should be made completely autonomous in managing their own affairs and the Managing Committee of these institutions should have adequate administrative and financial poweres to manage their affairs efficiently," it said.
The Commission said state governments may be directed to sanction medical and para-medical manpower to these hospitals as recommended by NHRC, without delay.