HC directs all SPs to set up Portal & toll-free lines to implement Mental Health Act


The Himachal Pradesh High Court directed all the Superintendents of Police, in the Districts to forthwith set up a portal and a dedicated toll-free line for the purposes of implementing the provisions under the Mental Health Act. The HC observed that portal and toll-free lines would be used by the public for furnishing information with regard to the whereabouts of any person, who may be suffering from mental illness or is incapable of taking care of himself.

A Division Bench comprising the Acting Chief Justice Mr Sanjay Karol and Justice Mr Ajay Mohan Goel passed these orders on a petition filed by Anil Kumar Bansal pleading the court to pass necessary directions to concerned authorities to comply the mandatory provisions of the Mental Health Care Act. Petitioner pointed out that such directions would help to deliver the justice to all mentally ill persons in the State who are ill-treated and are not taken care of by the guardian or relatives.

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Passing aforesaid direction to all the SPs as well as state the Director General of Police the order said that respondent state should turn up with the compliance of court direction on or before January 05, 2018. It was noticed by the Court that in terms of Section 23 of the Mental Health Act, the officer Incharge of Police Station is required to take into protection any person wandering at large within the territorial area falling within his jurisdiction and is also required to take care of person whom he has a reason to believe is suffering from mental illness and are incapable of taking care of themselves.

During the hearing, the Court observed that due to the geographical conditions of Himachal Pradesh, perhaps it may not be possible for every police officer within the State of H.P. to search for all such persons, therefore, it is the equal duty and responsibility of every citizen to inform the police officer about the whereabouts of such persons and one way of providing such information can be with the use of information and technology.

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ML Verma is a Senior journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for electronic media, news agencies and fast paced online media.

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