Notices issue to Central and State Governments for treatment of leprosy

Supreme Court: Showing it’s deep concern over the persons suffering from leprosy thereby attracting a social stigma, the bench of Dipak Misra and Vikramjit Sen, JJ issued notices to the Central and State Governments seeking explanation that why despite the advancement of human civilization in the field of medicine and availability of an effective cure, namely, Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT) which has been available since 1981 that can completely cure 99% of leprosy bacteria, people are still suffering from leprosy.

Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves averred that because of non-concern on the part of the Government, more than one lakhs twenty five thousand persons are affected by leprosy every year throughout the country, which is completely avoidable. It was also brought into Court’s notice that persons suffering from leprosy are not allowed to have education, sanitary benefits, community based rehabilitation as a result of which they are driven to streets and eventually turn to begging or compelled to live in so-called leprosy homes where they are treated as unpersons or aliens.

The said order of the Court came upon the writ petition seeking issuance of directions for availability of the drugs at primary health centres and proper administration of the same for treatment of the pregnant women suffering from leprosy in an apposite manner with dignity; making provision in educational institutions whether government or private in order to stop the  discrimination against the children of the leprosy affected families due to some kind of inhibition which has no constitutional sanction; providing banking facilities and establishment of such colonies where they can live for temporary period till they are cured and come to the society, etc. Pankaj Sinha v. Union of India, Writ Petition(s)(Civil) No(s). 767/2014, decided on 01.09.2014

To read the full order, click here

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