Persons with disability, especially those suffering from mental illness and other barriers like mental retardation do not get proper attention from the authorities in the matter of access to justice. The result is that they are sidelined and are viewed only from the prism of the paternalistic “social welfare” which looks upon them as merely as persons who are in need of special protection by the State and the society.
India being a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) 2008 and since our country has ratified the Convention, it is obligatory for our legal system to ensure the human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons with disability (including mentally ill persons and persons with mental disabilities) are enjoyed on equal basis with others and to ensure that they get equal recognition before the law and equal protection of the law.
The Convention further requires to ensure effective access to justice for persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others. In other words, the Convention has the philosophical underpinnings with a right based and inclusive approach and it treats persons with disabilities as those to be accepted as persons living in the inherent diversity in society.