Patna HC directs Bihar Government to take necessary steps on establishment of State Mental Health Authority

Govt & IHBAS to response in plea alleging No Mental Health Laws in schools and colleges. Mental Health written in block letters

Shivani Gadhavi

Published On: February 15, 2022 at 18:00 IST

The Patna High Court on February 10, 2022 observed that the Bihar State Government has still not taken any measures regarding the establishment of a State Mental Health Authority in the State, as was promised in under the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.

The Patna High Court Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S Kumar was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in regards with the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 wherein it is stated under Chapter VIII that there should be a specific State Authority that would deal with Mental Health related issues.

In the beginning of the hearing, the Bench mentioned that, “The object and purpose of the Act was to provide for mental healthcare and services for persons with mental illness. Also to protect, promote and fulfill the rights of such persons during delivery of mental healthcare.”

The Division Bench observed that the purpose behind the Enactment of the Act is to provide mental healthcare and services to persons in need whose mental condition stands determined in terms of Chapter-II of the Act.

The Bench furthermore stated that,

“It appears that mental health of a person and/or treatment of those who are in need, more so during the time of Covid-19, is the least priority of the State Government.”

The Bench while ordering the Chief Secretary to take necessary steps regarding the establishment of the State Mental Health Authority stated that “Let an Affidavit of compliance indicating the latest status, be filed by the Chief Secretary, Government of Bihar, before the next date.”

The matter is listed for February 25, 2022.

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