news Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | October 9, 2014 | 01:37 pm IST 

The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court last month directed the Madurai Police to 'identify', 'rescue', and 'admit' mentally ill people, wandering in the streets of the city, to the Akshaya Trust's Home. 

The Akshaya Trust filed a petition seeking the court's directive to identify and rescue such people. In its argument it mentioned that several such mentally ill people had met with accidents in the city, and the Home would like to look after and rehabilitate the such persons and avoid such mishaps.

Part of the Court order reads, "Therefore in the interest of justice, a direction is issued to the respondents/Police to identify and rescue the mentally ill people who are wandering in and around the streets of Madurai City and surrounding areas and admit them in the Care home of the Petitioner/Trust who has come forward with this petition to take care of them and protect those people".

The Akshaya Trust, run by chef-turned-social activist Narayanan Krishnan, is a Madurai-based NGO that works towards the rescue and rehabilitation of the destitute, mentally ill, and homeless by providing them rehabilitation. The Trust's Home in Madurai, where such inmates are lodged, was mired in controversies this year following several serious accusation levelled against the workings of the Home. Some of the allegations included holding inmates against their will, poor living conditions of inmates, the death of 120 inmates in the past one year and sudden disappearances of 60 inmates.

A PIL was filed against the Trust following which a three member team was set up to probe into the allegations. In a victory of sorts for Krishnan, on September 12, the court quashed the PIL after observing that allegations of sexual harassment of inmates and other wrongdoings made against the Trust had not been substantiated with sufficient evidence. However, the court also directed that those inmates who wanted to leave the home should be allowed to do so, and almost 190 people left the Home.