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A Public Interest Litigation has been preferred in Delhi High Court seeking its immediate intervention in the matter pertaining to right of mental health patient. The Petition put forward the data that there are one out of five Indians are suffering from depression in their lifetime as according to the World Health Organization. The Petitioner seek an immediate action from Delhi Government to form State Mental Health Authority and Mental Health Review Boards for district or a set of districts and enforce the provision of Mental Health Care Act, 2017 in true spirit as according to its object.

The Petition has been preferred by an advocate and social worker Mr. Amit Sahni who has been espousing many other causes in Delhi High Court on the various social issues through Public Interest Litigation. He mentions the importance of the mental health facility throughout the petition and profess that a proper counselling and treatment has ensured the person back to sound mental health. “Most people who experience mental health problems recover filly, or are able to live with and manage them, especially if they get appropriate treatment”, he adds.

As per the section 33 and 45 of Mental Health Care Act, 2017, the State Mental Health Authority shall by notification constitute Mental Health Review Boards for a district or a group of districts. Further, section 73 of the act also state that State Mental Health Authority shall by notification constitute Mental Health Review Board for a district or group of district under the new act.

The Petitioner eventually reiterates that due to non-implementation of the provision of the said act, there have been subsequent issues erupted in the while:

  • Not maintaining online registers as mandated by Section 7 of the Act.
  • Advance directive as prescribed in section 5 cannot be given effect to & Nominated representatives cannot be appointed as per Section 14(4) (e) of the Act.
  • Application u/s 89 of the Act for admission and treatment in Mental Health Establishments, by nominated representative of the patient cannot be filed.
  • Complaint against the deficiency in services to the MHRB as per section 28(b) of the Act.
  • Application u/s Section 77 of the Act against the decision of mental health establishment to the MHRB seeking redress of grievances or appropriate relief cannot be filed.
  • Section 78 recognizing the proceedings before the MHRB as judicial proceedings in absence of Board has been rendered ineffective thereby defeating the legislative intent.
  • Transfer of persons with mental illness from one Mental Health Establishment to another Mental Health Establishment under Section 93 in absence of Board, has been rendered ineffective.
  • Section 100 (7) mandates that in case a person with mental illness is found homeless or found wondering in the community, an FIR of missing person shall be lodged at concerned police station and the police shall be duty bound to trace the family of such person and inform about the whereabouts of such person.  It is observed that upon rescue of mental health person, police proceed only on the basis of DD Entry and without lodging an FIR.

The Petitioner eventually seek an immediate step from the Government of Delhi to ensure Mental Health Review Board and State Mental Health Authority to be established as per the provision. Further, Delhi State Legal Service authority be given a direction to ensure the free legal help to those affected with mental illness.

 

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