The Punjab and Haryana high court has issued a notice to Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh on a suo motu petition on the rights of undertrials, especially women, children, the mentally challenged and convicts.
The high court has acted on a reference received from the Supreme Court to register public interest litigations in their respective areas of jurisdictions in this regard and issue appropriate directions to respective states.
“The high court may, while examining the rights of such unfortunate members of society as suffering from mental disability, also examine whether any directions are required to be issued in relation to people who suffer from such illness but are not involved in any crime and yet suffer harassment, neglect or deprivation at the hands of their family or seen roaming about in public places without any one taking responsibility for their care, protection or maintenance,” the apex court order said.
The high court also appointed two amicus curiae (‘friend of the court’) in the case -- senior advocate BS Rana, who would be assisted by another advocate, Divya Sharma, while fixing the next date of hearing for January 15.
The HC also directed member secretaries of the respective states’ legal authorities to submit the reports which had been submitted by them to the Supreme Court on the same issue and further directed to prepare these if the same were not available.