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Mental hospitals: SC expresses displeasure over WB's reply

The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed displeasure over the response filed by West Bengal government on steps taken by it in improving the condition of mental hospitals and in utilising the Central grant.



New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed displeasure over the response filed by West Bengal government on steps taken by it in improving the condition of mental hospitals and in utilising the Central grant.

"We are not at all satisfied with details provided in the affidavit by West Bengal," a bench of justices M Y Eqbal and Shiva Kirti Singh said.

The court also asked the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and Bangalore-based National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHNS) to come up with suggestions and questionnaire for improving the conditions of mental hospitals and clinics in the country.

"You (NHRC and NIMHNS) come up with the suggestions and questionnaire and we will put them to the Secretaries. Let them do some exercise," it said, adding, "There should be at least one referral hospital in each state," it observed.

During the hearing, the counsel, appearing for NHRC, said that District Mental Health Program (DMHP) was launched in 1996 and West Bengal has "not given district-wise details but college-wise. It would be easier if the state gives details as to what extent the programme has been completed."

"They (WB) have simply said the programme has been launched. The present status is not given," the lawyer said.

"The DMHP programme contained early detection and treatment, imparting short term training to general physicians for diagnosis and treatment of common mental illnesses and creating public awareness," the lawyer said.

Earlier, the court had sought responses from the Centre and state governments on the PIL seeking improvement of conditions of mental hospitals in the country.

The NHRC, in its plea, has sought direction to set up more mental health hospitals and make them more 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 had said.

From Zee News

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