THE MENTAL HEALTH ACT, 1987
No. 14 OF 1987
(22ND, May 1987)
An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to the treatment and care of mentally ill persons, to make better provision with respect to their property and affairs and for maters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Be it enacted by Parliament in the Thirty–eighth Year of the Republic of India as follows:-
1. (1) This Act may be called the Mental Health Act, 1987.
[ Short title, extent and commencement ]
(2) It extends to the whole of India.
(3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification, appoint and different dates may be appointed for different States and for different provisions of this Act, and any reference in any provision to the commencement of this Act in a State shall be constructed as a reference to the coming to force of that provision in that State.
2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires: -
a) “cost of maintenance”, in relation to a mentally ill person admitted in a psychiatric hospital or psychiatric nursing home, shall mean the cost of such items as the State Government may, by general or special order, specify in this behalf;
b) “District Court” means, in any area for which there is a city civil court, that court, and in any other area the principal civil court of original jurisdiction, and include any other civil court which the State Government may, by notification, specify as the court competent to deal with all or any of the maters specified in this Act:
c) “Inspecting Officer” means a person authorized by the State Government or by the licensing authority to inspect any psychiatric hospital or psychiatric nursing home;
d) “license” means a license granted under section 8;
e) “licensee” means the holder of a license;
f) “licensed psychiatric hospital” or “licensed psychiatric nursing home” means a psychiatric hospital or psychiatric nursing home as the case may be licensed, or deemed to be licensed, under this Act;
g) “licensing authority” means such officer or authority as may be specified by the State Government to be the licensing authority for the purposes of this Act;
h) “Magistrate” means –
(1) in relation to a metropolitan are within the meaning of clause (k) of section 2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, a Metropolitan Magistrate:
[2 of 1974)
(2)In relation to any other area, the Chief Judicial Magistrate. Sub- Divisional Judicial Magistrate or such other Judicial Magistrate or the first class as the State Government may, by notification empower to perform the functions of a Magistrate under this Act:
i) “Medical Officer” means a gazetted medical officer in the service of Government and includes a medical practitioner declared, by a general or special order of the State Government, to be a medical officer for the purpose of this Act:
j) “medical officer in charge”, in relation to any psychiatric hospital or psychiatric nursing home, means the medical officer who for the time being, is in charge of that hospital or nursing home;
k) “medical practitioner” means a person who possesses a recognized medical qualification as defined – (i)
(i) in clause (h) of section 2 of the Indian Medical Council Act 1956, and whose name has been entered in a State Medical Register, as defined in clause (k) of that section;
[102 of 1956]
(ii) in clause (h) of sub-section (l) of section 2 of the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970, and whose name has been entered in a State Register of Indian Medicine, as defined in clause (j) of sub-section (l) of that section; and
[48 of 1970]
(iii) in clause (g) of sub-section (l) of section 2 of the Homeopathy Central Council Act, 1973, and whose name has been entered in a State Register of Homoeopathy, as defined in clause (i) of sub-section (l) of that section;
[59 of 1973]
(l) “mentally ill person” means a person who is in need of treatment by reason of any mental disorder other than mental retardation;:
(m) “mentally ill prisoner” means a mentally ill person for whose detention in, or removal to, a psychiatric hospital, psychiatric nursing home, jail or other place of safe custody, an order referred to in section 27 has been made;
(n) “minor” means a person who has not completed the age of eighteen years;
(o) “notification” means a notification published in the Official Gazette;
(p) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(q) “psychiatric hospital” or “psychiatric nursing home” means a hospital or, as the case may be, a nursing home established or maintained by the Government or any other person for the treatment and care of mentally ill persons and includes a convalescent home established or maintained by the Government or any other person for such mentally ill persons; but does not include any general hospital or general nursing home established or maintained by the Government and which provides also for psychiatric services.
(r) “psychiatrist” means a medical practitioner possessing a post-graduate degree or diploma in psychiatry, recognized by the Medical Council of India, constituted under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, and includes, in relation to any State, any medical officer who, having regard to his knowledge and experience in psychiatry, has been declared by the Government of that State to be a psychiatrist for the purposes of this Act:
[102 of 1956]
(s) “reception order” means an order made under the provisions of this Act for the admission and detention of a mentally ill person in a psychiatric hospital or psychiatric nursing home;
(t) “relative” includes any person related to the mentally ill person by blood, marriage or adoption;
(u) “State Government”, in relation to a Union territory, means the Administrator thereof.