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mentel stress

Courts to take necessary steps to protect violent patients under the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017: Delhi High Court

The Mental Healthcare Act had been enacted so as to promote and protect the full rights of persons suffering from mental illness. The present petition of Kalyani Chattopadhayay v Govt. of NCT Delhi [W.P.(C) 4131/2021] pivoted around the issue of the violent acts by the petitioner’s son diagnosed with schizophrenia. The matter was adjudicated by the bench of Pratibha M. Singh J.

The present petition has been filed by the petitioner seeking directions to be issued to AIIMS, SHO – Chitranjan Park and the IHBAS (`Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences) who are arrayed as respondent Nos. 2-4. The case of the Petitioner is that her son who is now 32 years of age had started showing abnormal behaviour since he was 17 years of age. In 2006 he was diagnosed at AIIMS with `Bipolar disorder and Psychosis’. He was being taken repeatedly to doctors and hospitals and since 2006 he was prescribed medications by doctors at AIIMS. In 2019 his symptoms aggravated, and he was again taken to AIIMS. He was then diagnosed with `Schizophrenia’. Owing to the son’s mental condition, he would get aggressive towards his parents and also exhibit violent behaviour. He is stated to have severely injured them on some occasion. The Petitioner also filed a complaint under Sections 101 and 102 of the Mental Health Care Act, 2017 as also under Section 156(3) of the CrPC, which was dismissed however.

It was prayed by the petitioners that examining the legality and validity of the same direct the Respondent No. ‘s 2 and 4 to provide medical treatment to the Petitioner’s son. Further, it was also pleaded to provide adequate police protection/assistance to the doctors at the Respondent No. ‘s 2 and 4 hospital in rendering medical treatment to the Petitioner’s son.

The court preliminary required an examination report by AIIMS to assess the condition of the petitioner’s son wherein it was recorded that there was history of recent violent behaviour. He was not cooperative and appeared aggressive. A provisional diagnosis of schizophrenia was made. Thus it was clear that the Petitioner has been again diagnosed with schizophrenia and was admitted in the Psychiatry Ward of AIIMS. He was administered medicines and kept in the emergency. However, he left the Emergency without an intimation or information.

The bench noted there was an urgent need to ensure that the safety of the Petitioner and also to safeguard them. The son of the Petitioner also required urgent medical attention. For the said purpose, the son of the Petitioner needed to be placed under proper care and treatment, in order to ensure that he does not cause any further physical or mental damage to either of his parents, and also to ensure that his own mental condition improves. The court was convinced that the son of the petitioner was unable to take care of himself. In the previous hearings, the petitioner herself had appeared and also made submissions. Both the petitioner and her husband are senior citizens. Their safety and security was of concern to the court.

The court thus ruled that, “The Delhi Police, which is represented by Mr. Anupam Srivastava, ld. Counsel, shall ensure that the Petitioner’s son is taken to IHBAS facility and placed under their care, today itself, under police protection, in terms of section 100 of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017. The Petitioner’s son shall remain in care and treatment of IHBAS, which shall file a report before this Court at least two days before the next date of hearing.”

Click here to read the judgment.

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