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Plea for mental health law

September 06, 2012


THIS is apropos of Dawn report about the minor girl who suffered from Down’s syndrome.

I am shocked on the apathy of our society on this incident. The issue should have been resolved at the very spot where it occurred instead of prosecuting her under the juvenile justice system ordinance 2000. Everyone knew that the girl was insane, but even then the local SHO registered the case against her.

The 18th Amendment made mental health ordinance 2001 defunct and there is no legal remedy available for mentally unstable patients in our society which is itself ignorant about mental health.

I would urge all provincial medical associations, the legal community and civil society to lobby for the early passage of provincial mental health bill, proper amendments to the Pakistan Penal Codes and other statutes for safeguarding the financial, inherited and legal rights of the mentally handicapped persons.

I would request the Sindh government to pass the draft bill ‘Sindh mental health 2012’ which is pending before them.