Implement Provisions Of Mental Healthcare Act In Letter And Spirit Within 6 Months : Manipur HC Directs State Government [Read Order]

first_imgNews UpdatesImplement Provisions Of Mental Healthcare Act In Letter And Spirit Within 6 Months : Manipur HC Directs State Government [Read Order] Sparsh Upadhyay12 Sep 2020 11:33 PMShare This – xThe Manipur High Court on Tuesday (01st September) directed the State Government to implement the provisions of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 (PDF File of the Act) and establish the necessary infrastructures expeditiously.The Division Bench of Chief Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice Kh. Nobin Singh said,”We direct the State Government to implement the provisions of the Mental…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Manipur High Court on Tuesday (01st September) directed the State Government to implement the provisions of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 (PDF File of the Act) and establish the necessary infrastructures expeditiously.The Division Bench of Chief Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice Kh. Nobin Singh said,”We direct the State Government to implement the provisions of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 in letter and spirit preferably within a period of six months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.”The BackgroundA senior citizen had filed this PIL pleading that non-implementation of the Mental Health Act, 1987 and the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 is causing hardship to the mentally challenged persons of the State of Manipur.The Court acknowledged the fact that the Mental Health Act, 1987 was enacted and thereafter, it was repealed by the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017. It came into force on 07.04.2017.The object and reasons of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 is to provide for mental healthcare and services for persons with mental illness and to protect, promote and fulfil the rights of such persons during the delivery of mental healthcare and services and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.It was the specific plea of the petitioner that provisions of Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 have not been implemented in letter and spirit. Further, the non-establishment of the psychiatric hospital and nursing home in the State of Manipur has put the mentally ill persons to great hardship and their fundamental rights are violated.It was contended that the district authorities have a major role to monitor the mental health of mentally affected persons within the district. Since the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 specifically enjoins the Central Government and the State Government to provide mental health care by establishing mental health establishments, the present PIL was filed.Court’s Observation and Directions issuedThe Court took into account Hon’ble Supreme Court’s Judgment in the case of Death of 25 Chained Inmates in Asylum Fire in Tamil Nadu, In Re Vs. Union of India and Others (2002) 3 SCC 31, wherein the Apex Court had discussed the scope of Mental Health Act 1987 as it was in enforced then and gave certain directions to the Central Government and the State Government.Specifically, the Apex Court had issued the following directions:-“4. Further Union of India is directed –a) To frame a Policy and initiate steps for establishment of at least one Central Government-run Mental Health Hospital in each State (As provided under Section 5 of the Act). PIL No. 12 of 2018b) To examine the feasibility of formulating uniform rules regarding the standard of services for both public and private sector Mental Institutes;c) To constitute a committee to give recommendations on the issue of care of mentally challenged persons who have no immediate relatives or who have been abandoned by relatives.d) To frame norms for Non-Government Organisations working in the field of Mental health and to ensure that services rendered by them are supervised by qualified/ trained persons.5. All State Governments are also directed to frame Policy and initiate steps for establishment of at least one State Government-run Mental Health Hospital in each State. It is clarified that a Mental Health Hospital as stated above means a full-fledged Hospital catering only to mentally challenged persons and does not include a separate psychiatric ward in a Medical College or Government Hospital.”In this context, the Manipur High Court observed,”The Direction of the Hon’ble Supreme Court will be applicable in so far as implementation of the present Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 with such further modification as specified in the new Act. All the provisions of the new Act have to be strictly implemented by the State Government. It is for the State Government to work out the modality for financing the establishment of the psychiatric hospitals and nursing homes (i.e) mental health establishments.” (Emphasis supplied)It may be noted that the Apex Court, in a judgment delivered in 2019, had noted that under the Mental Health Care Act, 2017, there is a statutory right for mentally ill persons to live with dignityThe Bench comprising Justice NV Ramana, Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar and Justice Indira Banerjee had observed that Section 20 (1) of the Mental Health Care Act explicitly provides that ‘every person with mental illness shall have a right to live with dignity’.Significantly, the Supreme Court on Friday (11th September) issued notice to the Attorney General for India in a plea wherein the Petitioner sought directions to ensure the prevention of attempts to commit suicide by persons who threw themselves in animal enclosures in Zoos.The Bench comprising of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, AS Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian further sought for an explanation from the Centre on the conflict between Section 115 of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, and Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code.A discussion regarding the validity of Section 115 also ensued between the CJI and Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta wherein the CJI remarked that there can be no blanket presumption on the intention behind the commitment of suicide.It may be noted that the Section 115 of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 says,115. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in section 309 of the Indian Penal Code any person who attempts to commit suicide shall be presumed, unless proved otherwise, to have severe stress and shall not be tried and punished under the said Code.(2) The appropriate Government shall have a duty to provide care, treatment and rehabilitation to a person, having severe stress and who attempted to commit suicide, to reduce the risk of recurrence of attempt to commit suicide. (emphasis supplied)In short, it provides for the presumption of severe stress in cases of attempt to commit suicide (person who are mentally stressed and unaware about their well-being), unless proved otherwise and the person shall not be tried or punished under the Indian Penal Code.Case Details:Case Title: Maibam Jatiswor Singh v. The State of Manipur & Ors.Case No.: PIL No. 12 of 2018Quorum: Chief Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice Kh. Nobin SinghAppearance: Advocate Juno Rahman (For the Petitioner); Addl. Advocate General M. Rarry, (for the respondents)Click Here To Download Order[Read Order] Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img

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