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Report No. 135

6.7. Section 81, Mental Health Act: Indignity to be avoided.-

Section 81 of the Mental Health Act, 1987 contains a comprehensive provision for punishing indignity or cruelty to mentally ill persons. The provision reads as under:-

"81. (1) No mentally ill person shall be subjected during treatment to any indignity (whether physical or mental) or cruelty.

(2) No mentally ill person under treatment shall be used for purposes of research, unless-

(i) Such research is of direct benefit to him for purposes of diagnosis or treatment; or

(ii) Such person, being a voluntary patient, has given his consent in writing or where such person (whether or not a voluntary patient) is incompetent, by reason of minority or otherwise, to give valid consent, the guardian or other person competent to give consent en his behalf, has given his consent in writing, for such research.

(3) Subject to any rules made in this behalf under section 94 for the purpose of preventing vexatious or defamatory communications or communications prejudicial to the treatment of mentally ill persons, no letters or other communications sent by or to a mentally ill person under treatment shall be intercepted, detained or destroyed."

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