Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Delhi HC summons Health Secretary, says it is unfortunate that permanent State Mental Health Authority not constituted till date.

Court: Delhi High Court

Bench: Hon'ble Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Hon'ble Justice Sanjeev Narula 

Case No: W.P.(C) 6952/2019 & tagged case: W.P.(C) 4468/2021

Case Title:  Amit Sahni Vs. Govt of NCT of Dellhi & Ors  and tagged case- Shreyus Sukhija Vs. Govt. of NCT of Dlehi & Ors.

Act: Mental Healthcare Act 2017

Date of Order: 02 Aug 2023

Next Date of Hearing: 15.09.2023


Observing that it is unfortunate that the permanent State Mental Health Authority under Mental Health Act, 2017, has not been constituted till date in the national capital, the Delhi High Court has asked Delhi Government’s Health Secretary to remain present before it on September 15, 2023.

“It is made clear that in case the permanent State Mental Health Authority is constituted as per the requirement of Sections 45 & 46 of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, the personal appearance of the Secretary (Health), GNCTD, shall be dispensed with without further reference to the Court,” the division bench said in its order dated 02 Aug 2023.

The bench also directed the Delhi Government to comply with the statutory provisions under the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 and the Mental Healthcare (State Mental Health Authority) Rules, 2018, including constitution of district mental health authorities.

In November 2022, the court was informed by Delhi government’s counsel that the process for reconstitution of State Mental Health Authority is underway and shall be finalised soon. However, since the same was not done, the court made the above observations.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Advocate Amit Sahni seeking effective implementation of Mental Healthcare Act, 2017. It is his case that the lack of mental health authorities is adversely affecting the treatment of mentally ill persons.

Another plea tagged with the PIL has been moved by man seeking reconstitution of the State Mental Health Authority and also for setting up of Mental Health Review Boards as provided under the Mental Healthcare Act 2017.

Read the Order below:

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