Patna High Court Issues Instructions for the Welfare of Leprosy Patients During Lockdown

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Petitioner Sam Utthan is a registered society for leprosy patients. They filed a writ application in the Patna High Court.

Petitioner’s Submission

They submitted that leprosy patients were not getting proper food and medical facilities. Their living condition had become miserable because of the lockdown. They were neither provided with a decent atmosphere to live, nor any necessary medical supply was supplied to them. They were not equipped with proper sanitation facilities either. Further, the food grains were available to only those with ration cards.

Grounds of Challenge

The respondents submitted that the state government was already providing them with money. A sum of Rs 1500/- under Bihar Shatabdi Kushth Kalyan Yojna delivered to every leprosy patient. A sum of Rs 1000/- provided to the children of the patients. Furthermore, a sum of Rs 400/- delivered as a disability pension. These payments were made in advance to the patients and their family members. Also, food grains were available to only ration cardholders is pending before the Govt.

Petitioner’s Prayers

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The relief for the writ application prayed for the issuance of necessary facilities. They also prayed that the respondents should give the patients and their families food and other essentials on regular bail. They should arrange dry food articles and cooking essentials during the lockdown.

The respondents should meet their basic medical needs, like bandages, ointments, and such. In the current situation, getting out to buy these things seems impossible.

The petitioner’s prayed that the respondents need to take necessary steps for sanitizing localities, where leprosy patients resided. Cleanliness and basic hygiene are essential to avoid the effects of COVID-19. It prayed that they should grant any other relief to them in this time of need.

Court’s Opinion

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After hearing both sides, the Court believed that it should add the Bihar State Legal Services Authority as a party respondent. Additionally, the petitioner’s counsel should serve a writ application to the respondent.

Court’s Order

The Court demanded a report from the Secretaries of all the DLS Authorities. This concerning financial aid, legal aid and facilities provided to leprosy patients. It also requested comprehensive information to put on record before the next hearing. It asked the respondents to issue food, cooking materials, drinking water and medical facilities for the patients. Patients must receive necessary facilities amidst this lockdown prevailing in the country.


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