SC issues a slew of directions to Centre, states for rehabilitation of leprosy patients

The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Union government to consider framing separate rules for granting disability certificates to leprosy patients for availing reservation and various welfare benefits. 

  • Published 14.09.18
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The Supreme Court. Picture by Prem Singh

New Delhi, Sept. 14 (PTI): The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Union government to consider framing separate rules for granting disability certificates to leprosy patients for availing reservation and various welfare benefits. 

Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud issued a series of directions to the Centre and all states for eradication of leprosy and rehabilitation of those suffering from it.

”Medical staff in private and government hospitals be sensitised to ensure that leprosy patients do not face discrimination,” the bench said.

The apex court said that an awareness campaign should be launched so that leprosy patients are not isolated and allowed to lead a normal married life.

The court asked the Union government and the states to frame rules that public and private schools do not discriminate against children from leprosy affected families.

The apex court had on July 5 directed the Union government to file a comprehensive action plan to ensure eradication of leprosy from the country, saying the “curable” disease cannot be allowed to affect the people.

The bench was hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by advocate Pankaj Sinha alleging that the government was not taking adequate steps to eradicate the disease.

Earlier, the court had also rapped the authorities for their “apathy” towards eradicating leprosy from the country, saying despite it being “curable”, the disease still carried a stigma.

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