Suicide attempt by mentally ill people not punishable: New law
New Delhi, April 9 (PTI): Attempts to commit suicide by a mentally ill person will not be punishable under a new law that has got assent from President Pranab Mukherjee.
Besides this, such patients cannot be chained in any manner as per the Mental Health Care Act, 2017 that got nod from the President on Friday.
The law aims to provide mental healthcare and services to persons with mental illness and to protect their rights.
The IPC section lays down punishment, simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year (with or without fine), for whoever attempts to commit suicide.
The appropriate government (the Centre or state) shall have a duty to provide care, treatment and rehabilitation to a person, having severe stress and who attempted to commit suicide, to reduce the risk of recurrence of attempt to commit suicide, the Act says. The new law bars use of electro-convulsive therapy without the use of muscle relaxants and anaesthesia; electro- convulsive therapy for minors, and sterilisation of men or women, when such sterilisation is intended as a treatment for mental illness.
The new law, which repeals the Mental Health Act, 1987, has been enacted to align and harmonise existing laws with a United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol. India has signed and ratified the Convention.