NEW DELHI: The Centre on Friday told the Delhi High Court that it has notified the minimum standards to be maintained by different categories of mental health establishments under the Mental Healthcare Act.
The submission was made before a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh during the hearing of a PIL for framing regulations for advance directives and minimum standards for different categories of mental health establishments.
The court, which disposed of the plea by advocate and mental health activist Gaurav Kumar Bansal, however, gave him the liberty to challenge the notified regulations before an appropriate forum in accordance with law after he said that there were some “irregularities” in the regulations which were notified on December 18, 2020.
Bansal had contended in his plea 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, 2020 had directed the Centre to treat the advocate’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 October 2020 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 present petition, Bansal had said 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,” he had said and added that since there were no regulations in place, persons with mental illness were finding it difficult to approach such entities.