NEW DELHI: A PIL has been moved in the Delhi High Court claiming that the Centre and the AAP government have not yet issued any regulations regarding minimum standards to be maintained by different categories of mental health establishments under the Mental Healthcare Act.
The petition by advocate and mental health activist Gaurav Kumar Bansal states that a similar plea filed by him earlier was disposed of by the high court by directing the Centre to treat it as a representation and take a decision on it as expeditiously as possible and practicable.
However, till date the central government has not notified the minimum standards, he said in the petition.
It further states that under the Mental Healthcare Act of 2017 the minimum standards were to be notified within 18 months of commencement of the statute.
The high court on October 12 had directed the Centre to treat Bansal's earlier similar plea as a representation and to decide it in accordance with the law, rules, regulations and government policy applicable to the facts of the case as expeditiously as possible and practicable.
The direction had come after the central government said the draft minimum standards are ready and would be published/notified as soon as they are finalised.
In his latest plea, Bansal states there are many establishments in the country which claim they can cure or treat mentally ill people through Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy.
"However, these establishments never register themselves with the Central Mental Health Authority or State Mental Health Authority as required under the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.
"Since till date respondent 2 (Delhi government) has neither issued any notification prescribing minimum standards for such establishments nor has clarified whether such establishments shall be treated as mental health establishments, persons with mental illness are finding it difficult to approach such entities," the petition claimed.
He also said in his petition that under the Act, every person has the right to make an 'advance directive' which specifies how he/she, suffering from any mental illness, wishes to be cared for and treated or not treated.
However, the regulations for specifying the manner of making the 'advance directive' have also not been notified, the plea claims.