" --IANS"
Shimla, Jan 2 - The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Tuesday directed all district police chiefs to set up an online portal and a toll-free telephone number for creating awareness about the Mental Healthcare Act of 2017.

The portal and the telephone will help people furnish information regarding the mentally challenged.

The court also directed the Superintendents of Police, Director General of Police and the state government to file an affidavit each regarding the compliance of the order by January 5.

A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Ajay Mohan Goel passed these orders on a petition filed by Anil Bansal, who sought compliance of the Mental Healthcare Act to protect the rights of the mentally ill and enable citizens to decide on the method of treatment in case of mental illness.

During the hearing, the court observed that under Section 23 of the Act, each police station in-charge is required to take into protection any person wandering and is also required to take care of the people whom he has a reason to believe are mentally challenged and incapable of taking care of themselves.

The court said that due to the geographical conditions of the state, it might not be possible for every police officer to locate such people. Therefore, it is the equal duty and responsibility of every citizen to inform the police officer about the whereabouts of such people.

--IANS

vg/nir/dg


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