High Court Seeks AAP Response On Plea Against Publishing Photos Of Mentally Ill Women

Delhi government additional standing counsel Sanjoy Ghose told the court that the purpose behind the advertisement was to reunite the women with their families.

High Court Seeks AAP Response On Plea Against Publishing Photos Of Mentally Ill Women

Besides photographs, the AAP government had decided to publish the IQ scores of mentally ill women.

New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the response of the AAP government on a PIL challenging its decision to disclose photographs and IQ scores of 59 mentally challenged women lodged in Asha Kiran homes in the city.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar also questioned the purpose behind the display of Intelligence Quotient (IQ) scores of the women in the advertisement published in the newspapers.

Delhi government additional standing counsel Sanjoy Ghose told the court that the purpose behind the advertisement was to reunite the women with their families.

To this, the court asked, "How can they (families) identify the women on the basis of IQ scores? We can understand displaying photographs, but why IQ scores?"

The bench issued a notice to the Centre and the Delhi government directing them to file their replies to the plea by NGO Prahari Sahyog Association which has contended that releasing the photographs and IQ scores of the women amounts to "discrimination".

The petition, filed through advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, has also contended that the advertisement violates provisions of the Right of Persons With Disabilities (RPWD) Act and the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) which prohibit the release of the identity of such individuals.

Gaurav Kumar Bansal argued before the court that the government decision violates the Right to privacy and dignity of the 59 women.

He informed the court that one of the women has been admitted in the Asha Kiran home since 1971.

The NGO, which claims to fight for the upliftment of fundamental and civil rights of Persons With Disabilities (PWD), has sought directions to the central government to frame guidelines to trace families of the women living in Asha Kiran homes and to protect the privacy of such individuals.

It has also sought a direction to the Delhi government to compensate the 59 women whose identities were revealed as a result of the advertisement.

Apart from that, the petition has urged the court to direct Delhi government to take action against the officials who issued the advertisement in violation of the RPWD Act.

It has also sought formulation and implementation of a social security scheme as provided under the RPWD Act for persons with disabilities institutionalized in places like Asha Kiran.

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