Delay in deciding legal guardianship of mentally-challenged persons, not proper

Central Information Commission (CIC): While coming down heavily upon Delhi Government for delay in deciding the legal guardianship of mentally-challenged persons, CIC noted that as at every hour of delay in recognizing guardianship, the minor is being deprived of parental support, Government must not keep such kind of vital issues pending, especially when it is concerned with mentally retarded persons, who require constant guardianship. The Commission was hearing an appeal filed by a person who sought to know information regarding the requirements for issue of Legal Guardian Certificate. In his appeal he submitted that his brother is ready to be the legal guardian of the mentally retarded nephew of the appellant, but for the past one and half years, he is not able to get the guardianship certificate, details about which were sought by him in his RTI application. He further submitted that in response to his application he was informed that there is a prescribed procedure for issuing the guardianship certificates for the mentally retarded persons. There will be a Local Level Committee constituted by the Divisional Commissioner consisting of a doctor, senior lawyer, a representative of NGO and social welfare officer and if need, they will also call the ward concerned. This Committee will examine all such applications for Legal Guardian Certificate. But so far the Government has not appointed the committee because of prolonging correspondence in naming the members. Hence the issue of the Legal Guardian Certificate is pending. After perusal of material in record, CIC noted that, “The Divisional Commissioner should have constituted the said committee long back on a priority basis and decided the legal guardians in such cases of urgency.” “A meeting on this issue has to be held on March 27, 2015 and the appellant can wait for the outcome of the same,” CIC further noted. (Mohan Singh v. SDM (Karol Bagh), 2015 SCC OnLine CIC 605, decided on March 25, 2015)

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