MINISTRY OF LAW AND JUSTICE
New Delhi, the 7th April, 2017/Chaitra 17, 1939 (Saka)
The following Act of Parliament received the assent of the President on the 7th April, 2017, and is hereby published for general information:—
THE MENTAL HEALTHCARE ACT 2017
[No. 10 OF 2017]
[7th April, 2017]
An Act to provide for mental healthcare and services for persons with mental illness and to protect, promote and fulfil the rights of such persons during delivery of mental healthcare and services and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
WHEREAS the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol was adopted on the 13th December, 2006 at United Nations Headquarters in New York and came into force on the 3rd May, 2008;
AND WHEREAS India has signed and ratified the said Convention on the 1st day of October, 2007;
AND WHEREAS it is necessary to align and harmonise the existing laws with the said Convention.
BE it enacted by Parliament in the Sixty-eighth Year of the Republic of India as follows:—
Short title, extent and commencement.
- (1) This Act may be called the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.
(2) It shall extend to the whole of India.
(3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint; or on the date of completion of the period of nine months from the date on which the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 receives the assent of the President.
(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,–
(a) “advance directive” means an advance directive made by a person under section 5;
(b) “appropriate Government” means,–
(i) in relation to a mental health establishment established, owned or controlled by the Central Government or the Administrator of a Union territory having no legislature, the Central Government;
(ii) in relation to a mental health establishment, other than an establishment referred to in sub-clause (i), established, owned or controlled within the territory of—
(A) a State, the State Government;
(B) a Union territory having legislature, the Government of that Union territory;
(c) “Authority” means the Central Mental Health Authority or the State Mental Health Authority, as the case may be;
(c) “Board” means the Mental Health Review Board constituted by the State Authority under sub-section (1) of section 80 in such manner as may be prescribed;
(d) “care-giver” means a person who resides with a person with mental illness and is responsible for providing care to that person and includes a relative or any other person who performs this function, either free or with remuneration;
(e) “Central Authority” means the Central Mental Health Authority constituted under section 33;
(f) “clinical psychologist” means a person––
(i) having a recognised qualification in Clinical Psychology from an institution approved and recognised, by the Rehabilitation Council of India, constituted under section 3 of the Rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1992; or
(ii) having a Post-Graduate degree in Psychology or Clinical Psychology or Applied Psychology and a Master of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology or Medical and Social Psychology obtained after completion of a full time course of two years which includes supervised clinical training from any University recognised by the University Grants Commission established under the University Grants Commission Act, 1956 and approved and recognised by the Rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1992 or such recognised qualifications as may be prescribed;
(h) “family” means a group of persons related by blood, adoption or marriage;
(i) “informed consent” means consent given for a specific intervention, without any force, undue influence, fraud, threat, mistake or misrepresentation, and obtained after disclosing to a person adequate information including risks and benefits of, and alternatives to, the specific intervention in a language and manner understood by the person;
(j) “least restrictive alternative” or “least restrictive environment” or “less restrictive option” means offering an option for treatment or a setting for treatment which––
(i) meets the person’s treatment needs; and
(ii) imposes the least restriction on the person’s rights;
(k) “local authority” means a Municipal Corporation or Municipal Council, or Zilla Parishad, or Nagar Panchayat, or Panchayat, by whatever name called, and includes such other authority or body having administrative control over the mental health establishment or empowered under any law for the time being in force, to function as a local authority in any city or town or village;
(l) “Magistrate” means––
(i) in relation to a metropolitan area within the meaning of clause (k) of section 2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, a Metropolitan Magistrate;
(ii) in relation to any other area, the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Sub-divisional Judicial Magistrate or such other Judicial Magistrate of the first class as the State Government may, by notification, empower to perform the functions of a Magistrate under this Act;
(m) “medical officer in charge” in relation to any mental health establishment means the psychiatrist or medical practitioner who, for the time being, is in charge of that mental health establishment;
(n) “medical practitioner” means a person who possesses a recognised medical qualification––
(i) as defined in clause (h) of section 2 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, and whose name has been entered in the State Medical Register, as defined in clause (k) of that section; or
(ii) as defined in clause (h) of sub-section (1) 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 (1) of that section; or
(iii) as defined in clause (g) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973, and whose name has been entered in a State Register of Homoeopathy, as defined in clause (i) of sub-section (1) of that section;
(o) “Mental healthcare” includes analysis and diagnosis of a person’s mental condition and treatment as well as care and rehabilitation of such person for his mental illness or suspected mental illness;
(p) “mental health establishment” means any health establishment, including Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy establishment, by whatever name called, either wholly or partly, meant for the care of persons with mental illness, established, owned, controlled or maintained by the appropriate Government, local authority, trust, whether private or public, corporation, co-operative society, organisation or any other entity or person, where persons with mental illness are admitted and reside at, or kept in, for care, treatment, convalescence and rehabilitation, either temporarily or otherwise; and includes any general hospital or general nursing home established or maintained by the appropriate Government, local authority, trust, whether private or public, corporation, co-operative society, organisation or any other entity or person; but does not include a family residential place where a person with mental illness resides with his relatives or friends;
(q) “mental health nurse” means a person with a diploma or degree in general nursing or diploma or degree in psychiatric nursing recognised by the Nursing Council of India established under the Nursing Council of India Act, 1947 and registered as such with the relevant nursing council in the State;
(r) “mental health professional” means—
(i) a psychiatrist as defined in clause (x); or
(ii) a professional registered with the concerned State Authority under section 55; or
(iii) a professional having a post-graduate degree (Ayurveda) in Mano Vigyan Avum Manas Roga or a post-graduate degree (Homoeopathy) in Psychiatry or a post-graduate degree (Unani) in Moalijat (Nafasiyatt) or a post-graduate degree (Siddha) in Sirappu Maruthuvam;
(s) “mental illness” means a substantial disorder of thinking, mood, perception, orientation or memory that grossly impairs judgment, behaviour, capacity to recognise reality or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life, mental conditions associated with the abuse of alcohol and drugs, but does not include mental retardation which is a condition of arrested or incomplete development of mind of a person, specially characterised by subnormality of intelligence;
(t) “minor” means a person who has not completed the age of eighteen years;
(u) “notification” means a notification published in the Official Gazette and the expression “notify” shall be construed accordingly;
(v) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(w) “prisoner with mental illness” means a person with mental illness who is an under-trial or convicted of an offence and detained in a jail or prison;
(x) “psychiatric social worker” means a person having a post-graduate degree in Social Work and a Master of Philosophy in Psychiatric Social Work obtained after completion of a full time course of two years which includes supervised clinical training from any University recognised by the University Grants Commission established under the University Grants Commission Act, 1956 or such recognised qualifications, as may be prescribed;
(y) “psychiatrist” means a medical practitioner possessing a post-graduate degree or diploma in psychiatry awarded by an university recognised by the University Grants Commission established under the University Grants Commission Act, 1956, or awarded or recognised by the National Board of Examinations and included in the First Schedule to the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, or recognised 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;
(z) “regulations” means regulations made under this Act;
(za) “relative” means any person related to the person with mental illness by blood, marriage or adoption;
(zb) “State Authority” means the State Mental Health Authority established under section 45.
(2) The words and expressions used and not defined in this Act but defined in the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 or the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970 and not inconsistent with this Act shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in those Acts.