Mentally Challenged Persons Has Right to Get Medical Assessment at Their Residence for Disability Certificate


Paridhi Arya

Published on May 31, 2022 at 17:07 IST

The Single Judge Bench of Justice GR Swaminathan held that under Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 person who is mentally disabled has a right to be assessed at the place of his residence for obtaining Medical Certificate.

“The assessment process must be as simple as possible. It must not cause any difficulty or trauma or even the least burden to the individual concerned. I take judicial notice of the fact that bringing such persons to a congested place like the Government Hospital would trigger considerable stress and anxiety to them. One does not know what can trigger panic and anxiety. There are children who seeing an ordinary balloon will go berserk,” Court observed.

The Court further stated that “Authorities shall not insist that a person suffering from mental retardation/ mental illness should be physically present in the premises of the certifying institution.”

The Petition was filed as by the person who is about be 90 years old. He gets pension since 1992 but now he wanted to add his son’s name in pension book so his son can get pension after he dies. His son is 61 years old who is mentally retarded.

The Medical Certificate was required for the procedure. The government hospital compelled that person with mental disability should be personally present. So, he was taken there forcibly.

The doctor’s found him mentally disabled but called him again for some more tests. But the Petitioner could not take him hospital as he was traumatized with his previous visit and so the Writ Petition is filed to issue Certificate.

The Court pointed out that special procedure should be designed for disabled persons under Article 41 of the Constitution of India and according to the Supreme Court’s Judgment in Jacob M Puthuparambil and Ors. Vs. Kerala Water Authority (1991) 1 SCC 28 and Sambhavana Vs. University of Delhi (2013) 14 SCC 781.

The Court observed National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism and Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999 and Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 as the objective of this Legislature is to ensure welfare of disabled person.

Under Section 18(5)(d) of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 it is the Government’s duty to take care that disabled persons need not travel long distances for mental health services.

The Court remarked “The Bureaucracy of the Indian State is described as its steel frame. It must be malleable enough to reach out and address the needs of the last person.”

The Court directed that State Government should make standard protocol for disabled persons so they do not have to suffer.

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