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HC Seeks Centre, Delhi Govt's Response On Plea For COVID Testing Of Mentally Ill Homeless Persons

The PIL submitted that the petitioner had approached the Delhi government while dealing with the issues relating to the mental health of homeless persons with mental illness.

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The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought a response from Centre, Delhi government and others on a plea seeking to issue guidelines with respect to COVID-19 testing facility for mentally ill homeless persons.

A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan issued notice to the Union of India through Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Delhi government and IHBAS hospital on a PIL filed by Gaurav Kumar Bansal, a mental health activist and an advocate practicing disability-related laws, and posted the matter for further hearing on July 9.

The PIL submitted that the petitioner had approached the Delhi government while dealing with the issues relating to the mental health of homeless persons with mental illness.

It also alleged that wilful, deliberate, and intentional ignorance of Chief Secretary of Delhi on the matter was not only contemptuous but also highlight the fact that the Government of NCT of Delhi has not seriously taken the issue related to the lack of guidelines with respect to COVID-19 testing of mentally ill homeless persons.

The plea submitted that the same petition was heard by Delhi High Court on June 9 and directed Chief Secretary of the Government of NCT of Delhi to address the grievances related to homeless mentally ill persons in accordance with the law.

It said that the petitioner also made a representation dated June 13 to the Chief Secretary, Govt of NCT of Delhi, and reminded him about the duty of the government to provide the treatment to the mentally ill homeless persons living in the national capital.

"Homeless mentally ill persons being a neglected group within a vulnerable section of our society not only need special care and attention but also require regular support from the government as well as society," the plea said.

"However, a crisis like the present COVID-19 pandemic puts additional responsibility on the government shoulders to formulate and implement such public health programmes for homeless mentality ill persons which are not only able to provide mental health treatment but can also effectively protect them from the said deadly virus," it added.

The plea said that as per Section 3 (3) of the Mental Healthcare Act-2017, it is the duty of the Delhi government to take all necessary measures for providing a range of services required by persons with mental illness. 

(ANI)

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ANI

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