Tuesday, 18 March 2014

THE MENTAL HEALTH ACT, 1987



THE MENTAL HEALTH ACT, 1987
(No. 14 of 1987)1
[22nd May, 1987]
An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to the treatment and care of mentally
ill persons, to make better provision with respect to their properly and affairs and for
matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS OF ACT 14 of 19872
1. The attitude of the society towards persons afflicted with mental illness has
changed considerably and it is now realised that no stigma should be attached to
such illness as it is curable, particularly, when diagnosed at an early stage. Thus the
mentally ill persons are to be treated like any other sick persons and the
environment around them should be made as normal as possible.
2. The experience of the working of Indian Lunacy Act, 1912 ( 4 of 1912) has
revealed that it has become out-moded. With the rapid advance of medical science
and the understanding of the nature of malady, it has become necessary to have
fresh legislation with provisions for treatment of mentally ill persons in accordance
with the new approach.
3. It is considered necessary -
i. to regulate admission to psychiatric hospitals or psychiatric nursing homes
of mentally ill-persons who do not have sufficient understanding to seek
treatment on a voluntary basis, and to protect the rights of such persons
while being detained;
ii. To protect society from the presence of mentally ill persons who have
become or might become a danger or nuisance to others;
iii. To protect citizens from being detained in psychiatric hospitals or
psychiatric nursing homes without sufficient cause;
iv. To regulate responsibility for maintenance charges of mentally ill persons
who are admitted to psychiatric hospitals or psychiatric nursing homes;
v. To provide facilities for establishing guardianship or custody of mentally ill
persons who are incapable of managing their own affairs;
vi. To provide for the establishment of Central Authority and State Authorities
for Mental Health Services;
vii. To regulate the powers of the Government for establishing, licensing and
controlling psychiatric hospitals and psychiatric nursing homes for mentally
ill persons;
viii.To provide for legal aid to mentally ill persons at State expense in certain
cases.
4. The main object of the Bill is to implement the aforesaid proposals.