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Kerala HC Directs Cops to Get Sensitised on Mental Health Care Act

In News
June 30, 2023

KOCHI:
The Kerala High Court has directed the State Police Chief to ensure that all police officers are sensitised on the provisions of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 to better understand the grievances of mentally ill persons.

“The State Police Chief will ensure that the Police Officers in all the Police Stations in the State are sensitized to the relevant provisions of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 so as to ensure proper, prompt and effective compliance with the provisions, which would pave the way for ameliorating the grievances of the mentally ill persons,” read the order.

The court said this while considering an application filed on behalf of a man who suffered from bipolar disorder and depression, and had suicidal tendencies.

Owing to his mental condition, the petitioner submitted that he was not fit to stand trial or defend a criminal case filed against him since he was ‘unsound of mind’.

Incidentally a special judge had earlier rejected an application filed giving the same plea. This prompted the petitioner to approach the High Court.

Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the trial court had not perused relevant material that would prove the mental illness and incapacity of the petitioner to make his defence.

The court has now ordered the trial court to reconsider the matter and proceed by strictly following the procedure contemplated in the CrPC and Section 105 of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.