Tag Archives: Insanity Defence

Analysis of the Mental Healthcare Bill

The Mental Healthcare Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on the 27th of March. As as a long-term campaigner for the rights of the mentally ill, I have been asked by many colleagues to express my views on it.

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‘It’s sad to know that an innocent lady had to endure 13 years of custody because of general apathy towards mentally ill’

Last week, the Supreme Court of India, in a landmark judgement, directed the State of Chhattisgarh to release a lady convicted of killing her four-year-old daughter after 13 years in prison. In the landmark judgement, Justice A K Sikri and Justice A M Sapre found that the lady in question was suffering from a disorder which would suggest that she was plagued with insanity at the time the crime was committed.

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Saving a mentally ill patient from death row

The Pakistan Supreme Court recently ruled that schizophrenia does not qualify as a mental illness as it is a ‘recoverable’ condition. I have not had access to the details of the case which prompted this pearl of judicial wisdom apart from what is available in the Fourth Estate.

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Insanity defence and the role of Doctors

On 20th January 1843, Daniel M’Naghten (he reportedly spelt his surname in nine different ways), a Scottish woodturner lining in London, harbouring under a delusion that the ruling Conservative Party were ‘persecuting’ him aimed a gunshot at a figure he believed to be the Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel.

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