Bombay High Court issues directions to State highlighting the non-implementation of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 in the State of Maharashtra

   

Bombay High Court: In a PIL filed highlighting serious issues of the non-implementation of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, in the State of Maharashtra, a Division Bench of Nitin Jamdar and Gauri Godse, JJ., issued directions to the Authority and the State, highlighting the gravity of the duties imposed upon the State and relevant authority under the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.

The Court expressed that it was not informed about the duties, status, and stages of the initiatives undertaken if any, and remarked that in this regrettable situation, it has become necessary for the Court to issue directions to the Authority and the State, highlighting the gravity of the duties imposed upon them under the Act and to inculcate a sense of urgency for the tasks ahead.

The Court directed the Chief Executive Officer of the Respondent State Authority to:

(a) Place the details of the State Mental Health Authority Fund as to when it was created, what is the sum available in the Fund and whether it is adequate for its functioning and performance of Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.

(b) To prepare a proposal for a work programme as per Section 53(1)(c) of Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.

(c) To prepare a statement about revenue and expenditure and the budget of the Authority as per Section 53 of Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.

(d) To prepare a general report covering all activities of the Authorities in the previous year per Section 53 of Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.

(e) To prepare the schedule of programmes of work and budget for the coming year for approval of the Authority per Section 53 of Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.

(f) To prepare a report in terms of Rule 10 of Mental Healthcare (State Mental Health Authority) Rules, 2018.

The Court directed the Secretary, Department of Public Health, State of Maharashtra to place on record details of tasks so performed by the appropriate Government as per the above-mentioned enactment since 2017 and details of what steps the State Government intended to take in respect of the duties mentioned above with a timeline thereto.

The Court further directed the Secretary to place on record whether the State Government has called for a report from the Authority under Rule 10 of the Rules and details of the reports so submitted since the inception of the Authority, subject to explanation in case of failure to comply.

[Dr Harish Shetty v. State of Maharashtra, 2022 SCC OnLine Bom 6622, decided on 02-12-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

Ms. Pranati Mehra Advocate for the Petitioner;

Mr. M.M. Pabale, AGP for the State.


*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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