The Central Government has in exercise of powers conferred by sub-sections (1) and (3) of Section 121 of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 (10 of 2017), on 29-05-2018, notified the Mental Healthcare (Central Mental Health Authority and Mental Health Review Boards) Rules, 2018.
The following are the salient features —
Nomination of ex officio members of Central Authority (to be appointed by the Central Government)
- Chairperson — Secretary/Additional Secretary to the Government of India (Department of Health and Family Welfare).
- ex officio members —
(a) Joint Secretary to the Government of India (Department of Health and Family Welfare)
(b) Joint Secretary to the Government of India (Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy)
(c) Director General (Health Services)
(d) Joint Secretary to the Government of India (Department of Disability Affairs in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment)
(e) Joint Secretary to the Government of India (Ministry of Women and Child Development)
(f) Directors of the Central Institutions for Mental Health.
(g) Three persons, not below the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India in the Home Affairs, Finance and Law Ministries.
- Non-official member, who is an Indian National, not exceeding the age of 67 years and possesses qualifications and experiences as specified in the next rule.
Qualification and experience of non-official members
- A mental health professional, one psychiatric social worker, one clinical psychologist and one mental health nurse, having a minimum of 15 years’ experience in their respective fields and registered as mental health professionals with a State Authority, shall be nominated (by Central Government) as members of Central Authority.
- Two persons each from the following shall be nominated as members : –
(a) representatives of persons who have or have had mental illness;
(b) persons representing care-givers of persons with mental illness or organisations representing care-givers;
(c) representatives of non-governmental organisations which provide services to persons with mental illness; and
(d) persons representing areas relevant to mental health:
Provided that in case none of the members are psychiatrists, then 2 psychiatrists shall be nominated as members thereof.
Procedure for provisional registration of mental health establishments by Central Authority — Every mental health establishment has to submit an application for provisional registration to the Central authority in Form-B, along with a fees of Rs 20,000, and the said Authority shall grant the provisional registration certificate in Form-C, after being satisfied that the establishment has fulfilled all requirements.
Validity and renewal of certificate of registration — The provisional registration certificate shall be valid for 12 months from date of grant and a renewal application shall be made in Form-B within 30 days before date of expiry, otherwise, the mental health establishment concerned will have to pay a renewal fee of Rs 20,000.
Issue of duplicate certificate — Where the registration certificate is destroyed/lost/mutilated/damaged, the Central Authority may issue a duplicate on an application by the establishment along with a fee of Rs 20,000.
Maintenance of digital register — A category-wise register in Form-D of all registered mental health establishments has to be maintained by the Central Authority in digital format.
Mental Health Review Boards — For constitution of such Boards, the State Authority shall, in consultation with State Government, take decision on the number, location and jurisdiction of the Boards to be constituted, having regard to the following:–
- expected or actual workload of the Board to be constituted
- number of mental health establishments existing in that State
- number of persons with mental illness in that State
- population of the place where such Board is to be constituted
- geographical and climatic conditions of that place where such Board is to be constituted
Provided that at least 1 Board shall be constituted for a district and where it is not feasible, 1 Board shall be constituted for a group of 2 or more districts, not exceeding 3 districts, in the State.
Other disqualifications for chairperson or member of Board
A chairperson/member appointed by the State Authority shall be disqualified :-
(i) if he holds a full-time/part-time assignment preventing him from giving adequate time and attention to work of the Board; or
(ii) if he holds any office in a political party during his tenure of office in the Board.
(iii) if any complaint is received against him and on enquiry by a competent authority, it is found that there is substance in such complaint
Provided that if such complaint is against a chairperson who had been a judicial officer, the complaint shall be forwarded to the Registrar of the High Court concerned for enquiry.
The State Authority may suspend the chairperson/member immediately, if a criminal case is registered against such person and revoke such suspension if he is acquitted.
Audit of mental health establishments
The Central Authority shall, for conducting audit of registered mental health establishments, authorize one or more of the following, to ensure that such establishments comply with the requisite minimum standards :-
(a) representative of District Collector/District Commissioner/State Human Rights Commission of the district where the mental health establishment is situated
(b) Psychiatrist who is in Government service or in private practice
(c) mental health professional who is not a psychiatrist
(d) representative of a non-governmental organization working in the area of mental health
(e) representatives of care-givers of persons with mental illness or organisations representing caregivers; and
(f) representatives of persons who have or have had mental illness
The Central Authority may, suo moto or on a complaint received with respect to non-adherence of minimum standards or contravention of any provision, order an inspection and inquiry of any mental health establishment, to be made by one or more of the following persons :-
(a) Psychiatrist in Government service or in private practice
(b) mental health professional who is not a psychiatrist
(c) representative of a non-governmental organization working in the area of mental health
(d) police officer in charge of the police station under whose jurisdiction, the mental health establishment is situated
(e) representative of District Collector/District Commissioner of the district where the mental health establishment is situated.
The Central Authority or the person authorized by it may, enter and search such mental health establishment, if it has reasons to believe that a person is operating an establishment without registration, or is not adhering to minimum standards or has been contravening any of the provisions, and may require the mental health professional in charge of the establishment to mandatorily produce original documents relating to registration.
[F. No. V-15011/09/2017-PH-I (ii) — G.S.R. 507 (E)]
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare