More than 20 posts are unoccupied at the Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour

The Goa State Human Rights Commission (GSHRC) on Tuesday directed the Goa Government to expedite the process of filling the post of Director and 20 other big and small posts lying vacant for a long time at the Goa government’s Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour (IPHB).

The Commission’s report on the state of affairs at the Institute, has been forwarded to the State government through the Chief Secretary in terms of Section 18(e) of the Provisions of Human Rights Act, 1993 asking the government to communicate the action taken by December 13.

The GSHRC’s inquiry report culminated its suo motu cognisance of a series of local media reports from June last year alleging various deficiencies in infrastructure and other aspects including the condition of patients of IPHB.

After the State government responded to the notices of the Commission and denied human rights violation of patients, the three-member Commission led by chairman Justice (retd) P.K. Mishra personally visited the institute on May 13 and noted that IPHB owned a large area, offering a vast scope to plan various recreational activities for the inmates.

Chief Secretary of Goa, Secretary for Health and Dean of State-owned Goa Medical College (GMC) hospital, in their response to the Commission’s notices had earlier denied violations of human rights at IPHB and stated that lapses visible were purely administrative in nature.

They claimed that the reports in the local newspaper were “highly exaggerated” and did not deserve cognisance by the GSHRC. The top government officials, however, admitted that several posts were lying vacant and that steps were being taken to fill up the vacancies.

The Commission has directed the State government to allow IPHB to use all available infrastructure to promote the welfare of its inmates.

It has suggested that a Day Care Centre may be established on priority with facilities for physical exercises, Yoga, meditation, indoor games, and library. The government officials had earlier submitted a proposal for the same, noting that papers have been sent for administrative approval and financial sanction on December 7 last year.

The GSHRC directed that the patients who have recovered fully should not be kept at the institute but shifted immediately to a proper place in safe environment away from other inmates.

This recommendation came in response to government affidavit pointing out that 65 patients who were free from mental illness could not be discharged due to rejection by their families. The government affidavit had pointed out that a Psychiatric Social Worker had been entrusted with the work of placements of these patients in different institutes meant for the destitute across the State.

The Commission in its inquiry report noted that documents produced and information furnished about vacant posts clearly indicated that efforts were being made to fill up the vacant posts. But GSHRC was unhappy over the apparent inordinate delay on part of the government to fill up the vacancies, particularly on the post of the Director, which has not been created so far and the proposal was under examination of Administrative Reforms Department since February 2, 2013. At present Professor and Head of Department of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour of GMC continued as Director.

  • Goa State Human Rights Commission’s report on the state of affairs at IPHB has been forwarded to the State government

  • The report followed local media reports about human rights violations and infrastructural deficiencies at the Institute