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Mental Healthcare Act notified, attempting suicide no longer a crime in India


New Delhi, Jun 2 (HT): Attempting suicide is no longer a crime in India with the health ministry notifying on May 29 the Mental Healthcare Act 2017 that decriminalises it. The notification comes a year after the law was passed in Parliament.

“A very important factor in the Bill is that it separates attempt to suicide from the Indian Penal Code. So, now IPC provisions cannot be invoked in case of an attempt to suicide,” Union health minister JP Nadda had said last year, while presenting the Bill in the Lok Sabha.

“Since, the person undertakes the step in extreme mental stress, which means it’s triggered by mental illness, it should not be criminalised,” he added.

The law also bans treating mentally ill children with electric shock therapy and says that even in the case of adults, such treatment must be given under anaesthesia and along with muscle relaxants.

There is also a provision in the law that allows people to give advance directions on the kind of treatment they would want in case they are diagnosed with a mental illness in the future.

There will also be check on voluntary admissions, and if admission is required, it will be for a specific period under the supervision of a trained psychiatrist.

An estimated 6-7% of the country’s population suffers from some kind of mental illness; in 1-2% of the population, the illness is acute.

The government is hopeful that the law will ensure healthcare, treatment and rehabilitation of persons with mental illness “in a manner that does not intrude on their rights and dignity. ”

The ministry had invited public comments on draft rules and regulations under the law last September.

After the President of India cleared the Mental Healthcare Bill, 2017, the health ministry formed an expert committee of mental healthcare professionals to frame rules and regulations as is the standard protocol.

The committee submitted a draft that outlined the framework under which the law would come into force. The health ministry put out the draft in public domain, with a request for comments.

After seven months of deliberations, the ministry finalised and notified the rules for states to adopt.

“We have put in a lot of effort to ensure that the rules don’t lack clarity. These will act as a reference point to manage persons with mental illness,” said a health ministry official on condition of anonymity.


Comment on this article

  • Sanjay, Hebri

    Sat, Jun 2 2018

    Depression is a dangerous condition . It is very difficult for many to come over.
    Good decision.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Godwin, Mangaluru

    Sat, Jun 2 2018

    After soon....killing no longer a crime in india...because modI govt anything can happen..

    DisAgree [12] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mohammed, Kundapur/Qatar

    Sat, Jun 2 2018

    now most of youths loosing jobs, so no more hopes , that's the reason bjp pass this bill to play in safe hand, so that no one can blame them if commit suicide.
    what about those persons who blackmail that they will commit suicide ?

    DisAgree [11] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • John Tauro, M'luru / Kwt

    Sat, Jun 2 2018

    Blackmailers, rapists or such type of criminals will be charged with abetment to suicide if the person committing suicide leaves behind a note. The law does not decriminalize abetment or instigation to commit suicide.

    DisAgree Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • basavanna, belman

    Sat, Jun 2 2018

    If i find a person hanging with a rope and about to die,
    1. Should i look the other way
    or
    2. Should I cut the rope to save him which is an interference with his right to die and ultimately with his right to liberty.

    Who will answer these questions?

    DisAgree [9] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Devkumar, Mangalore/Najafgarh Road

    Sat, Jun 2 2018

    Don't cut the rope...put on ur neck..will compensate god latter to save one life.

    DisAgree Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Elwyn Goveas, Valencia

    Sat, Jun 2 2018

    If somebody attempt suicide in some reason with his life,he gets life again then this law comes forward to punish him why are you alive.Certainly a mockery.Good decesion

    DisAgree [4] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Devkumar, Mangalore/Najafgarh Road

    Sat, Jun 2 2018

    suicide itself is act of satan. god given free hand to satan to force a person to commit suicide. without god's instruction or knowledge no death occur on this universe. sometime it's due to purva janmada karma.

    what we are enjoying is karma of last birth and are forwarding our good/bad deeds to next birth. body change..soul remain the same. until and unless soul is not purified cannot able to leave this place to attain ' moksha '

    DisAgree [9] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Cynthia, Mangalore

    Sat, Jun 2 2018

    Dev,

    Very thought of committing suicide is the mental instability. Really very sad situation.
    Even counselling does not work in some cases whereas some come out from this syndrome and lead good normal life. We can save a person during this act of committing suicide. But if he tries for the second time...? Third time?? No one can save if no one is around.
    This world itself covered by the satanic force...

    DisAgree [1] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Devkumar, Mangalore/Najafgarh Road

    Sat, Jun 2 2018

    Agree with you cynthia..fully.

    DisAgree Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vinay, Mangaluru

    Sat, Jun 2 2018

    Attempting suicide is not a crime but committing is a crime.

    DisAgree [14] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anand Kumar, Mangalore

    Sat, Jun 2 2018

    Both FEKU and DAKU are suicide candidates after 2019 elections. Their heroes 'Veer' wierd Savarkar and Adolf Hitler committed suicide remember?

    DisAgree [5] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ramesh S, MANGALORE

    Sat, Jun 2 2018

    ..ADOLF HITLER never committed suicide..you are fed with fake propaganda by US & its allies same like SADDAM/GADDAFI/ASSAD to morally/mentally break German..Its proven that Hitler & its colleague lived Argentina till his natural death..

    DisAgree [7] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ivar, Mangalore

    Sat, Jun 2 2018

    True.
    In fact there were extensive searches for Hitler's dentures which had golden implants as revealed by his dentist. None could be found in the underground barrack where Hitler allegedly committed suicide.
    But there are enough theories to prove Adolf Hitler and Eva Brown lived until natural death.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Sat, Jun 2 2018

    Now BJP is Safe ...

    DisAgree [7] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anand Kumar, Mangalore

    Sat, Jun 2 2018

    ...they will kill opponents and make it look like suicide. Case closed. Vomit Shah will say, "Uss aadmi/aurat ka jeene se Desh ko khathra hai."

    DisAgree [6] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

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