Law comes in contact with psychiatry at many
points; for example, admission of a mentally ill
person in a mental hospital.
After a careful consideration of all details by a
Select Committee the bill was passed as the
Indian Lunacy Act, 1912.
The ILA had 8 chapter. The lunacy act of
England have 10 chapter which are
applicable for whole of the country.
The definitions of the of “India” the
asylum, medical practitioner and the
Who Will Judge Them ,
What Will Be The Care For Them and
After The Court Order Who Will Be
Responsible For Their Property And
Reception of Lunatics.
( Like no person other than criminal lunatic or
a lunatic ,so found by inquisition shall be
received or detained in an asylum without a
reception order save as provided by sections
8, 16 and 98 )
Procedure upon petition for reception order.
Detention of lunatic pending enquiry.
Consideration of petition
Order. Further provisions as to reception
orders on petition. Power to appoint
substitute for the
person upon whose application a
Reception order has been made.
Reception order in case of lunatics from
foreign States in India.
Reception order in case of wandering and
Detention of alleged lunatic, pending report
by medical officer. Reception and detention
of criminal lunatics
1. Appointment of visitors.—(1) The 1[State
Government] shall appoint for every
Asylum not less than three visitors, one of
whom at least shall be a medical officer.
The Inspect or-General of Prisons (where
such office exists) shall be a visitor exofficio
of all the asylums within the limits of his
Monthly inspection by visitors.
Inspection of criminal lunatics by Inspector-
General or visitors
Discharge of lunatics
Order of discharge from asylum by visitors.
Discharge of lunatics in other cases and of
European military lunatics.
Removal of lunatic
Escape and re-capture
Proceedings in Lunacy in Presidency-towns:
The courts having jurisdiction under High Courts
of Judicature at Fort William, Madras and
Judicial powers over person and estate of
Management and administration
Power to dispose of lunatic's property for
Power to order transfer of stock belonging to
lunatic in certain cases.
Proceedings in Lunacy outside
District Court and finding thereon
Custody and management.
Power to direct Collector
Power to District Court to appoint guardian and
Relative may sue for an account.
Proceedings in lunacy to cease or to be set aside
if the court finds that the unsoundness of mind
• State Government may establish
or licence the establishment of
• Power to cancel licence if
provision for curative treatment is
• Provision for admission of lunatics
in asylums outside a State.
Expenses of Lunatics
Cost of maintenance by Government.
Application of property in the possession of a
lunatic found wandering.
Application to Civil Court for order for the
payment of cost of maintenance out
Power of State Government to make rules.
Penalty for improper reception or detention of
Power to give effect to warrants and orders of
certain Courts outside India.
Ranchi European Mental Hospital[Repealed by the
A. L. O, 1950].
Before 1912 no comprehensive law was
present in India for mentally ill individuals
then called Lunatics.
At about the same time (1913) almost same
law was promulgated in England.
India acted a bit earlier and promulgated
new law in 1987 replacing the old one.
The mental health bill became
the Act14 of 1987 on 22may
The Act came in force with effect
from April1,1993 in all the states
and union territories in India.
The Act is divided into 10 Chapters consisting
of 98 Sections
The Act uses the term Mentally ill person
instead of a Lunatic.
The term mentally ill prisoner is used instead
of a criminal Lunatic.
Psychiatric Hospitals rather than Mental
Guidelines for establishing Mental Health
Authorities at central and state level.
These authorities will regulate and
coordinate the mental health facilities under
the State and Central government
Guidelines for the establishment and the
maintenance of the Psychiatric hospitals and
valid license ,
Renewed every 5 years.
There is a provision of
separate hospitals for those under the age of
Those addicted to Alcohol and other drugs
which lead to behavioral changes.
Mentally Ill prisoners.
Any other prescribed class or category.
Procedure of admission
By the patient’s request if he is a major .
By the Gaurdian if a minor ( new Provision)
Admission Under special Circumstances.
This is an involuntary hospitalization (cannot
exceed 90 Days)
Reception order on application.
Reception order without application , on
production of mentally ill person.
(wandering, ill-treated, dangerous,
neglected mentally-ill person.)before the
Admission in inpatient after judicial
Admission as a mentally ill prisoner.
Leave of absence
Removal of mentally
Judicial inquisition regarding :
Alleged mentally ill person,
Possessing property ,
Custody of his person and
The management of his property.
A guardian& manager may be appointed by
Liability to meet the cost of maintenance of
the mentally ill persons admitted in the
psychiatric hospital or nursing homes.
Aimed for the protection of the human rights.
No mentally ill shall be subjected , during
treatment ,to any indignity(whether physical or
mental) or cruelty.
No mentally ill person, under treatment shall be
used for the purpose of research , unless Such
research is of direct benefit to him.
A consent has been obtained in writing from the
person(if a voluntary patient) or from the
guardian /relative (if admitted involuntarily)
No letter or communication sent by or to a
mentally ill person shall be intercepted,
detained or destroyed.
penalties and the procedure of the mentally
ill person .
states the various rules for detention and
the mentally ill prisoners and their trials.
In addition the state mental health rules ,
1990( which all contain the none important
forms required by the mental health Act.
1987) and the central mental health
authority rules , 1990, have also passed by
the Government of India o December
There is a very important role of law in the
management, treatment and care of the
mentally ill person
Ahuja N.A SHORT TEXT BOOK OF PSYCHIATRY. 6th
. edition. Jaypee brothers medical .
Mental Health Act, 1987 with short notes (1987),
Lucknow Eastern Book Company.
Sharma, S. D. (1990) Mental Hospitals in India New
Delhi, Directorate General of Health Services.Pp 53-
Somasundaram, O. (1987) The back ground of Indian
Lunacy Act, 1912. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 29, 3-
Trivedi, J. K. (2002) The Mental Health Legislation:
An ongoing debate (editorial) Indian Journal of
Psychiatry, 44(2), 95-96.