Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

Delhi Govt Yet To Constitute State Mental Health Authority Under 2017 Act, Existing Panel Cannot Continue: High Court

Nupur Thapliyal
4 Oct 2022 10:15 AM GMT
Delhi Govt Yet To Constitute State Mental Health Authority Under 2017 Act, Existing Panel Cannot Continue: High Court
x

Rejecting Delhi government's stand that the State Authority for Mental Health Services constituted under the Mental Health Act, 1987, can continue to function as it is under the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, the Delhi High Court has said Section 45 of the new enactment required respective state governments to constitute a new body - the State Mental Health Authority [SMHA], within a period of nine months.

Justice Yashwant Varma in the order dated September 23 said SMHA was yet to be constituted by Delhi government in accordance with the 2017 enactment. The observation from the court came after the state government in its additional affidavit "candidly conceded" that the authority constituted in terms of the repealed enactment of 1987 continued by virtue of Section 126(2)(b) of the 2017 Act.

However, the court said, "the statutory command as contained in Section 45 of the 2017 Act required respective State Governments to constitute the SMHA in accordance with its provisions within a period of nine months."

It added that prima facie Section 126(2)(b) cannot be "read or interpreted" as sanctioning the continuance of an authority constituted under the repealed enactment as same would breach the command of Section 45.

Section 45: Every State Government shall, within a period of nine months from the date on which this Act receives the assent of the President, by notification, establish, for the purposes of this Act, an Authority to be known as the State Mental Health Authority

Meanwhile, the court in the order also asked the Delhi government to file an affidavit disclosing details regarding the constitution of Mental Health Review Boards under Section 73 of the 2017 enactment, as well as the number of complaints examined by them. The court also has sought details about the periodicity of the meetings that may been have been held by them

A petitioner had moved the High Court last year seeking directions for reconstitution of the State Mental Health Authority and also for setting up of Mental Health Review Boards as provided under the new law.

While directing the Delhi Government to file its response before the next date of hearing, the court listed the plea with a similar pending PIL raising identical issues. That PIL was moved by Advocate Amit Sahni in 2019 seeking implementation of Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.

"Consequently, let this petition be tagged with the aforesaid matter to be called before the appropriate Court subject to orders of the Hon'ble Chief Justice," the court ordered.

Title: ABC v. GOVERNMENT OF NCT OF DELHI AND ORS

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 930

Next Story