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Report No. 135

6.10. Amendment of section 85, Mental Health Act, recommended.-

We have not been able to discover any other section of the Act which could be invoked for dealing with such infringement. It appears to us, that the punishment of imprisonment upto six months, provided by section 85, Mental Health Act1 may not be adequate for dealing with an infringement of section 81, particularly where the victim of the malpractice is a woman.2 There is need for a higher punishment, to deal adequately with subtle forms of sexual and other harassment in respect of mentally ill patients. Our recommendation, therefore, is that in the Mental Health Act, 1987 a new section (section 84A) should be inserted, in the following terms:

"84A. Penalty for contravention of section 81.-Any person who contravenes the provisions of section 81 shall, on conviction, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees, or with both."

1. Para. 6.9, supra.

2. Para. 6.8, supra

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