The Kerala High Court on Wednesday directed the state to enhance the allowance for mentally challenged persons and their bystanders at Mental Health Centres (MHCs)across the state.
Presently, the monthly allowance for mentally challenged persons and their bystanders is `400 each, while disabled persons and their bystanders are given an allowance of `525.
The court directed the government to maintain parity in the granting of allowances and to provide `525 to mentally challenged persons and their bystanders.
“It would be worthwhile for the government to consider enhancing the support, since the amount of `525 appears to be quite inadequate. The government should immediately consider raising the amount so that the support given to the deserving persons proves meaningful,” Justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan held.Meanwhile, the court asked Kerala State Legal Services Authority to file a statement regarding implementation of the guidelines of National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) to establish legal aid centres, for protecting the person and property of mentally-ill persons in all the MHCs.
Amicus Curiae Sathya Sreepriya submitted that legal aid centres should be established to provide legal assistance to the mentally-challenged persons.
According to the Mental Health Act, 1989, legal aid to mentally-ill persons should be provided on state expense, in deserving cases.