MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court bench of Justices Ujjal Bhuyan and Madhav Jamdar, earlier this week, ordered the Maharashtra government to spell out if it has established less restrictive community-based establishments, such as, halfway homes, group homes etc. for rehabilitation of persons who no longer require treatment in more restrictive mental health establishments.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by one Vinod Tambe, a senior citizen suffering old age ailments and mental illness. He primarily sought provision of free health care treatment for his mental and physical illness. He also sought his rehabilitation in a suitable old age home established and maintained by the state government.
The bench, in an earlier hearing, had ordered through Regional Mental Hospital, Thane to admit Tambe and look after his health.
The bench while hearing the matter on July 6 was informed that on July 2 Tambe was released from the hospital despite his report stating that he requires pyschiatric maintenance.
The counsel appointed for Tambe from the state legal services authority panel, apprised the bench of the fact that as per the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, the hospital at Thane ought to have submitted a report as to whether Tambe no longer required treatment in restrictive mental health establishment and can be rehabilitated in a less restrictive community-based establishment.
Further, advocate Jai Kanade appearing in the matter informed the judges that the Mental Healthcare Act provides for setting up less restrictive community based establishments, like, halfway homes, group homes etc. for rehabilitation of mentally ill persons, who may not require further treatment or stay in a more restrictive mental health establishment but would still require some form of psychiatric maintenance.
Accordingly, the judges ordered A B Kadam, the government counsel to take instructions from the Public Health Department as well as from the Social Justice and Special Assistance Department of the state, in this regard.
The bench further ordered the Mental Hospital, Thane not to release Tambe again till further orders.