The National Human Rights Commission on Wednesday noted that all 46 mental healthcare institutions in the country are in “inhuman and deplorable” condition which depicts pathetic handling by the concerned authorities.

In a press note, the human rights body said that its observations were based on the visits of the Full Commission to the four government hospitals in Gwalior, Agra and Ranchi, and the remaining 42 by its Special Rapporteurs in various parts of the country. The visits were made to assess the situation on the ground and the status of the implementation of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.

Patients who have been cured are being kept illegally in hospitals, which also faces acute shortage of doctors and staff, the National Human Rights Commission said. The human rights body said that it is unconstitutional to keep a patient after they have recovered.

“The inhuman and deplorable conditions of the mental health institutes recorded by it across the country, present sorry states of affairs amounting to infringement of the human rights of mentally ill patients,” said the National Human Rights Commission.

The human rights body has issued notices to the Union health secretary, chief secretaries and health secretaries of all states, police commissioners in metropolitan cities and directors of the 46 mental health institutions, asking them to submit action taken reports within six weeks.