Leave of Absence
45. Leave of absence.-
(1) An application for leave of absence on behalf of any mentally ill person (not being a mentally ill prisoner) undergoing treatment as an inpatient in any psychiatric hospital or psychiatric nursing home may be made to the medical officer in charge,-
(a) in the case of a person who was admitted on the application of the husband or wife, by the husband or wife of such mentally ill person, or where by reason of mental or physical illness, absence from India or otherwise, the husband or wife is not in a position to make such application, by any other relative of the mentally ill person duly authorised by the husband or wife, or
(b) in the case of any other person, by the person on whose application the mentally ill person was admitted: Provided that no application under this sub-section shall be made by a person who has not attained the age of majority.
(2) Every application under sub-section (1) shall be accompanied by a bond, with or without sureties for such amount as the medical officer in charge may specify, undertaking-
(i) to take proper care of the mentally ill person,
(ii) to prevent the mentally ill person from causing injury to himself or to others, and
(iii) to bring back the mentally ill person to the psychiatric hospital or, as the case may be, psychiatric nursing home, on the expiry of the period of leave.
(3) On receipt of an application under sub-section (1), the medical officer in charge may grant leave of absence to the mentally ill person for such period as the medical officer in charge may deem necessary and subject to such conditions as may, in the interests of the health and personal safety of the mentally ill person or for the protection of others, be specified in the order: Provided that the total number of days for which leave of absence may be granted to a patient under this sub-section shall not exceed sixty days.
(4) Where the mentally ill person is not brought back to the psychiatric hospital or psychiatric nursing home on the expiry of the leave granted to him under this section, the medical officer in charge shall forthwith report that fact to the Magistrate within the local limits of whose jurisdiction such hospital or nursing home is situate and the Magistrate may, after making such inquiry as he may deem fit, make an order directing him to be brought back to the psychiatric hospital or psychiatric nursing home, as the case may be.
(5) Nothing contained in this section shall apply to a voluntary patient referred to in section 15 or section 16 and the provisions of section 18 shall apply to him.