Kerala State Center directs policemen to raise awareness of the Mental Health Care Act
KOCHI, June 30 (IANS) The Kerala High Court has directed the state police chief to ensure that all police officers are made aware of the provisions of the Mental Health Care Act 2017 to better understand the grievances of people with mental illnesses.
“The State Chief Constable will ensure that police officers at all police stations in the state are made aware of the relevant provisions of the Mental Health Care Act 2017 to ensure appropriate, prompt and effective compliance with the provisions, which will pave the way for alleviating complaints of mentally ill persons,” the order read.
The court said this while considering an application made on behalf of a man who suffers from bipolar disorder and depression, and is suicidal.
Because of his mental state, the petitioner said he was not fit to try or defend a criminal case against him because he was “unsound of mind”.
By the way, a private judge had earlier denied a petitioner who filed the same petition. This prompted the petitioner to turn to the Supreme Court.
The petitioner’s lawyer stated that the court of first instance had not seen the relevant materials that would establish mental illness and the petitioner’s inability to present his defence.
The court has now ordered the lower court to reconsider the matter and proceed by strictly following the procedures foreseen in the Criminal Procedure Act and Section 105 of the Mental Health Care Act 2017.