Lawstreet Journal

SC Issues Notice to IRDAI over Plea to Extend Medical Insurance for Mental Illness

Lawstreet Journal 18 Jun 2020 1:19am

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Judiciary SC Issues Notice to IRDAI over Plea to Extend Medical Insurance for Mental Illness

On Tuesday (16 June, 2020), the Supreme Court issued a notice to the government and Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) to sought response from them over a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), demanding extension of medical insurance cover to treatment of mental illness.

It is likely that the PIL was filed amid the heated debate and public outrage over the suicide of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, who was allegedly depressed before taking the drastic step.

The matter was taken up by a full bench headed by Justice R F Nariman, and comprising Justices Navin Sinha and B R Gawai along with him. The petition, filed by advocate Gaurav Bansal, alleged violation of provisions of Mental Health Act, 2017, which deals with right to equality and non- discrimination

The petitioner argued that Section 21(4) of the Medical Healthcare Act provides for every insurer to include mental illness in medical insurance. He also alleged that the IRDAI is “bypassing responsibilities” and is not serious about providing protection to people with mental illness.

The petitioner also said that because of red-tapism in the insurance sector and IRDAI, the above-mentioned provision has not been complied with till date. The failure of IRDAI in regulating the insurance companies properly and, in mandating them to apply provisions of the Mental Health Act, 2017, is creating a lot of hardship to mentally ill persons.

Despite having specific provisions under the law, IRDAI is reluctant in taking any immediate action, said Bansal. “The bias of IRDAI is in itself discrimination… Continue Reading...

Tagged: supreme court  
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