DIMAPUR, AUGUST 5: The Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court has directed the Government of Nagaland to notify rules and regulations for the State Mental Health Authority within 3 months time.
The Court directive came after Government Advocate Moa Imchen submitted that the State Mental Health Authority has been constituted in accordance with Section-46 of the Mental Health Care Act, 2017 but the draft rules and regulations is under process for vetting of the Justice & Law Department.
“Therefore, the State Mental Health Authority has not been able to do much without the same”, he said.
Hearing a PIL, the Court, in view of the submission made by the Government Advocate, directed the Government to take necessary steps so that the vetting process is completed and the rules and regulations is notified within a period of 3 months from today (Aug 4).
The Court observed that due to the two waves of COVID-19, the service of the State Mental Health Authority is even more needed today. “Therefore, the respondents shall make every endeavour towards publication of the notification”, it said in an order.
Also mentioning that the State Mental Authority is to constitute the State Health Review Board as per Ssection-73 of the Mental Health Care Act, 2017, the Court said there is no clarity as to whether these Boards have been constituted or not. It directed the State respondents to inform the Court through the Government Advocate on the next date as to whether such Boards have been formed.
The Court further mentioned that under Sections-61 & 62 of the Act, the State is suppose to constitute State Mental Health Authority fund and also provide fund in the form of grant for utilization of the authority for the purpose of the Act.
“These are steps which are required to be taken at the very initial stage so that the authority would be able to function for the purpose for which it is constituted”, it said. The order directed the respondents to inform the Court through the Government Advocate in the next hearing as to whether funds have been provided to the authority in the form of grant and as to whether the State Mental Health Authority fund has been constituted or not.
(Page News Service)