On October 22nd, the Allahabad High Court stated in a Habeas Corpus Writ Petition that an alcoholic who is otherwise of sound mind cannot be forced in a Rehab Centre against their will. The single-judge bench of Justice J. J. Munir was hearing the matter of detainee Ankur Kumar, who was bought before the Court by Sub-Inspector Kapil Kumar, Muzaffarnagar.
The Petition was filed by the plaintiff who stated before the Court that he was kept in Nasha Mukti Kendra, against his will and that he wished to go back home. He also told the court that he was taken to the Centre by his uncle and 20-30 other people. They came in four vehicles to take him to the Centre. It was stated by the Advocate of the defendants that the detainee was admitted to the Centre by his mother.
The Sub-Inspector, who produced the detainee after recovering him from the Centre produced a letter signed by the 'Jeevan Rakshak Drug De-Addiction and Rehabilitation Centre', Muzaffarnagar. The letter dated 21.10.2020 showed that the detainee was admitted to the Centre on the demand of his mother.
After hearing from the advocates for both the parties and taking into consideration the stand of the detainee, it was clear to the Court that he was in detention at the Centre against his will. "If a person is an alcoholic but otherwise of sound mind about there is no authority with any relative of his or Drug De-Addiction and Rehabilitation Centre to detain him in custody against his will and wish,” the Bench said. Hence the first plaintiff's confinement was found to be absolutely unlawful by the Court. "He is free to go where he likes. He will not be confined by anyone against his will and wish. This petition is allowed in terms of the aforesaid orders", said the Court.
The Court also ordered the Centre to guarantee that no harm is caused to the detainee in the future. The Court gave this order as hesitation was expressed on behalf of the detainee that he could be exposed to violence at the hands of the respondent who forced him into the detention.