While dealing with a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that seeks to implement the provisions of Mental Health Act, 2017 (MH Act), the Karnataka High Court on Wednesday granted one month's time to the state government to constitute the “State Authority” under the Act..[Read the additional Submissions here].A Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Hemant Chandangoudar observed that the authorities under the Act, namely the State Authority and the Mental Health Review Boards (Review Boards) had not been put in place till date. The Act was notified in the Official Gazette in 2017. In this regard, High Court held,.“…The first and major default on the part of the State Government is the failure to establish a State Authority. This was expected to be constituted on or before 8th January, 2018... Another important provision is section 73 which contemplates Mental Health Review Boards to be constituted by the State Authority. The Mental Health Review Boards have vast powers under the Act, however, not a board has been constituted till date in the state.”High Court order.The AGA, appearing for the state, placed on record a notification which stated that the State Authority envisaged under the Act has been constituted on Tuesday. However, it did not meet the required criteria under Section 43 of the Act, the Court noted."The State Government does not come into the picture at all. It is the State Authority and not the State Government who has to constitute Review Boards in the State.".The Court further noted that there has been complete neglect on the part of the state government with regard to the MH Act in spite of several directions previously issued by the Court. Besides these observations, the Court further gave two specific directions today:i) The State Government has to constitute the State Authority by appointing all non-government members within one month from today.ii) The State Authority has to constitute such number of review boards in every district, as per the law within a period of 2 months from the date of its constitution..The Court also forewarned that any of failure of implementation of these directions would be viewed very seriously..PILs were instituted in the Karnataka High Court for the effective implementation of the MH Act and Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 (RPD Act). Apart from this, the petition also pointed out that there was a severe scarcity in the number of mental health professionals including psychiatrists and psychologists in the country. The petitioner has further urged the Court to issue directions to the state to notify the State Mental Health Care Rules and set up Special Courts under RPD Act..In October last year, the Karnataka High Court had passed a detailed order in this matter, observing that in the objections submitted by the State back then, no reason was provided as to why the State Authority has not taken any steps to constitute Review Boards as per the MH Act..The State Government must ensure that the State Authority starts functioning immediately and holds regular meetings as mandated by law. The State Authority must ensure that Review Boards are immediately constituted…The learned counsel appearing for the petitioners is right in submitting that the powers which are conferred on the Civil Court under the repeals of Mental Health Act, 1987 have now been conferred on the Review Boards. That is how unless the Review Boards are established, the provisions of Mental Healthcare Act cannot be effectively implemented.High Court order on October 25, 2019.In the October order, the Court had further granted one month's time to the state government to reveal the outer limit for framing rules to implement the provisions of the RPD Act..The petition was drafted by Advocate Abhinav Ramanand. Advocate Rohan Kothari is appearing on behalf of the Petitioner. The petition will be next heard on February 24..In a connected matter which the proper implementation of the provisions of RPD Act, the counsel appearing for the petitioner stated that there was severe difficulty for persons with disability to get disability certificates. On this point, the High Court today held that the state government cannot insist for applications only via online platforms. It is “bound to entertain physical forms as well, as prescribed in the Act”, the Court noted. The petitioner is represented by Advocate Viswesh Sekhar in this matter.