The HC said a good atmosphere was needed for rehabilitation of those inmates who no longer require psychiatric treatment.
New Delhi: The presence of policemen in halfway homes defeats the purpose of rehabilitation of people suffering from mental disorder, the Delhi high court has observed.
The high court said a non-intrusive and congenial atmosphere was required for the rehabilitation of those inmates who no longer require psychiatric treatment.
Halfway homes serve as a stop-gap place for those who have undergone treatment for mental illness before they venture into the real world.
Taking strong note of the presence of armed and unarmed guards at a halfway home here deployed by the Tihar Jail authorities, a bench comprising justices S. Muralidhar and I.S. Mehta directed that the cops be withdrawn from there.
The issue came to light when Institute of Human Behaviour and Applied Sciences (IHBAS) approached the court seeking direction to jail authorities to withdraw the guards deployed at the halfway home for a man, who was acquitted in November last year of the charge of murdering his wife and was sent there for rehabilitation.
The man was earlier undergoing treatment of bipolar disorder at IHBAS and after completion of the treatment, he was sent to the halfway home for rehabilitation before coming in contact with the outside world.
"The presence of armed guards at a half-way home will defeat the purpose of providing relief to those who no longer require to be housed in IHBAS," the bench said.
Trashing the submission of jail authorities that guards were deployed at the half-way home as the man hadn’t complied with bail conditions, the bench said it had modified the conditions and there would be no justification for him being detained in Tihar Jail any longer.
The bench said it was a pity that despite the court acquitting the man in November last, the jail authorities still referred to him as a 'convict'.
After being directed by the court to withdraw cops deployed at the halfway-home, the jail authorities apprised the bench on the next date that they have kept unarmed guards. The authorities said that the deployed unarmed guards are also to be withdrawn.