Supreme Court PIL seeks inclusion of mental illness in list of...

PIL seeks inclusion of mental illness in list of specific co-morbidities

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New Delhi, Mar 11 (ILNS) A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court, seeking direction to the Central government to include severe mental illness in the list of specific co-morbidities allowed for the COVID-19 vaccination.

Advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal alleged in the plea that apart from the fact that persons with severe mental illness are not covered under the said list, the Central government has also capped the benefit of COVID-19 vaccination only to those persons with disabilities having high support needs.

“As per the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016, person with disabilities having High Support Needs are only those persons, who carry a Disability Certificate with them,” Mr Bansal contended.

He further submitted that as per Section 21 (1) (e) of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, any other service provided to persons with physical illness shall be provided in the same manner, extent and quality to persons with mental illness.

It is alleged that by capping the benefit of vaccination to persons with mental illness having disability certificate only, the Centre has not only excluded a very vulnerable and neglected group of the country, but also created a barrier in providing benefit of COVID-19 vaccination to persons with mental illness not having disability certificate. 

The petitioner further sought direction to remove the condition of submitting disability certificates by beneficiaries for getting COVID-19 vaccination and framing of policy to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to homeless mentally ill persons wandering on the streets. ILNS/SNG/JR

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