Issue lying before the Supreme Court
SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Saturday closed a public interest litigation related to mental health and psychiatric hospital at Srinagar as the issue was already before Supreme Court for disposal.
The court observed that a copy of Supreme Court order has been produced before the bench today.
“In this view of the matter it is not appropriate for this court to embark on the proceedings on the issue. Therefore the PIL insofar which relates to mental health stands closed” the division bench of Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice M K Hanjura said.
The counsel representing the health department informed the court that on Supreme Court directions a team headed by Joint Secretary Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has been constituted, comprising of Secretary Health &Medical Education J&K, Secretary SHRC J&K, Member Secretary, SLSA, and Director Health Services, Kashmir and Jammu as its members.
The chairman of the team has submitted the report to Supreme Court after inspection of the psychiatric hospital at Srinagar, the counsel said.
Meanwhile advocate Javed Iqbal submitted before the court that the WHO guidelines and the national mental health programmes/policies have been completely ignored in the state.
He said that in adverse environment vulnerable members of the community resort to negative coping mechanism like drug abuse.
He said that mental health care has been totally ignored by the state “which is not only unfortunate, unfair, unreasonable but it is also a criminal act on their part”.
“Not only has this been the case with the mental health care but also with drug de-addiction programmes and free availability of psychiatric substances as over the counter items in Kashmir,” he said in his pleadings before the court.