Supreme Court judgment relating to laws treating leprosy patients differently


Dr KK Aggarwal    15 January 2018

Dr KK Aggarwal and Ira Gupta

 One Writ Petition bearing WP(Civil) No. 1151/2017 titled as "Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy versus Union of India & Others" has been filed before the Honble Supreme Court of India for declaring certain Central and State enactments as unconstitutional as there are some Central and state Laws which treat the patients suffering from leprosy differently. It is stated in the petition that there is no justification to treat a person suffering from leprosy as a person who is to be kept away from the mainstream of life and suffer the agony on the age-old beliefs that the disease is a sin or for that matter, is infectious or something to do it genetics. With the discovery of modern medicines, the disease has become absolutely curable and, therefore, the steps are required to be taken to cure them and bring them in the society and not to keep them away in the leprosy homes where they feel different and sometimes alien. 


The above writ petition came up for hearing on 11.01.2018 before the 3 Judges bench of Honble Supreme Court. During the hearing the counsel appearing for Union of India had stated that wherever there will be any provision which can be viewed as discriminatory or prejudicial to the persons suffering from leprosy, that shall be adequately dealt with. After recording the statement of the counsel for the Union of India, the Honble Supreme Court has further directed all the State Governments to look into their legislations and carry out similar exercises so that there will be no such discrimination. 


It was also observed by the Honble Supreme Court that the legislations when came into force, the disease was viewed in a different manner, possibly without any cure, but today when the advancement of science has taken place and there is a cure for the same, corrective steps are imperative. 


Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri AwardeeVice President CMAAOGroup Editor-in-chief IJCP PublicationsPresident Heart Care Foundation of IndiaImmediate Past National President IMA

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