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Create awareness about mental health, provide online portal & helpline numbers: Court to HP Police

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HP High Court on Mentally ill person

There are special directions provided in the Act prohibiting the police to lodge such people taken into protection in police lock-up or prison in any circumstances.

Shimla: While hearing a petition, the Himachal Pradesh High Court has issued directions to the Superintendents of Police of all districts of the state to create awareness among people regarding mental health.

For this purpose, the court directed the police to open online portals and provide helpline numbers where people could report any destitute person who appears to be mentally ill and unable to take care of him/herself.

The court has also directed the SPs , Director General of Police, and the State government to file individual affidavits regarding the implementation of the orders by January 5, 2018.

A division bench comprising of the acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and justice Sandeep Sharma said that under Section 23 of the Mental Health Act, 1987, the officer-in-charge of police stations should be responsible for taking such people into protective custody.

Every officer in charge of a police station may take or cause to be taken into protection any person found wandering at large within the limits of his station whom he has reason to believe to be so mentally ill as to be incapable of taking care of himself,

states the said Section of the Act.

Similarly, the police is ought to take such persons into protection if they pose any sort of danger due to mental illness

The court has also appealed to the public to report such persons to police whom they found wandering and perceive to be mentally ill. The court said it is the duty of not only the police and government but also of every citizen.

Further, Section 100 described in the CHAPTER XIII of the Mental Health Act 2017, also defines the responsibilities of the police and other agencies.

As per the provision, the officer-in-charge of a police station is ought to take such persons to the nearest public health establishment within 24 hours for assessment of the person’s healthcare.

There are special directions provided in the Act prohibiting the police to lodge such people taken into protection in police lock-up or prison in any circumstances.

It further states,

The medical officer-in-charge of the public health establishment shall be responsible for arranging the assessment of the person and the needs of the person with mental illness will be addressed as per other provisions of this Act as applicable in the particular circumstances.

Other than the petition, the issue was also raised by a Shimla-based Non-profit organization (NGO) and Himachal Watcher.

The NGO had alleged the police was deliberately evading their duty to take such persons into protection despite legal provisions.

The order of the court has come at a time when awareness regarding the mental illnesses and disorders is most required. Generally, such people are termed lunatic by people, thus, ignored.

These unfortunate souls keep suffering as they wander from place to place. During the winters, the suffering increases as mentally ill persons wander bare-food and half-naked in some cases.

To save them from further agony, the public and police must co-operate as directed by the court.  Creating awareness would be the foremost step in this direction. 

Campus Watch

HP University Offers Special Chance to Complete UG Degrees

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HPU Special Chance for UG Degrees

Shimla– Himachal Pradesh University on July 17, 2019, issued a notification offering special chance to complete BA/B.Sc/B.Com and Shashtri degrees to candidates who had enrolled for academic sessions between 2000 – 2012-13 but could not complete their course in the given time period.

Such candidates can avail this special chance by paying a fee of Rs 5000 per year. The examination will be held in March 2020 in accordance with the old syllabus (2012-13).

Similarly, the candidates, who had enrolled for academic sessions between 2000-2014, can avail this chance to complete their BCA/BBA degrees by paying a fee of Rs 20, 000 per year. The examination for these degrees will be held in September 2019 in accordance with the old syllabus (2013-14).

The notification was issued after a few amendments in decisions taken by the HPU Executive Council in its meeting held on May 31, 2019.       

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Misc News/Press Release

HP Cabinet Decisions July 2019: Nod to ‘HP Construction, Demolition Waste Policy and Strategy’ & ‘HP Direct Selling Guidelines, 2019’

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HP Cabinet Decisions July 2019

Shimla– Himachal Pradesh Cabinet meeting was held on July 16, 2019, under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur

The cabinet has recommended the Governor to convene Monsoon session of Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha from August 19 to August 31, 2019, with a total number of 11 sittings.

The Cabinet decided to provide State subsidy of 30 percent of system cost including installation of solar water heating systems of capacities 100 LPD and 200 LPD only to all the domestic consumers in the state.

HP Construction and Demolition Waste Policy and Strategy

It decided to frame Himachal Pradesh State Construction and Demolition Waste Policy and Strategy to avoid, minimise, reuse, recycle and dispose-off construction and demolition waste and avoid and minimize construction waste through design and construction management. This would help in checking the environmental problems that arise owning to open dumping of these wastes. Under the policy, suitable land would be provided for the dumping of construction and demolition waste and further its processing through private operators/agencies or by Urban Local Bodies.

 HP Direct Selling Guidelines, 2019

The Cabinet decided to approve Himachal Pradesh State Direct Selling Guidelines, 2019. The government claimed it would regulate the business of direct selling and multi-level marketing and strengthen the existing regulatory mechanism on direct selling and multi-level marketing. It’ll also prevent fraud and protect the legitimate rights and interests of the consumers, the government said.  

 The Cabinet approved the change of equity in favour of three power projects and also cleared a policy for imposing a penalty in case of change of equity and name without the approval of the government. Project developers would be given a period of 60 days when to get them approved without penalty.

 It accorded approval to

  •  Fill up five posts of Civil Judges in Himachal Pradesh High Court through direct recruitment to ensure speedy disposal of various cases
  • Fill up seven posts of Junior Office Assistant (IT) and 10 posts of Statistical Assistant in Health and Family Welfare Department on contract basis through Himachal Pradesh Staff Selection Commission, Hamirpur.
  • Open Health Sub Centres at Kashimblidhar in Gram Panchayat Kuklah and at Chunani in Gram Panchayat Kashaud in Tehsil Balichowki and in Gram Panchayat Tandi in Chachiot tehsil of Mandi district alongwith creation and filling up of requisite posts.
  •  Open Primary Health Centre at Shilhanu in Mandi district alongwith creation of two posts to man the centre.

 Other Decisions

 Honorarium of Water Guards Hiked

The Cabinet gave its nod to increase the honorarium of water guards from Rs. 2100 to Rs. 3000 and para fitters and para pump operators from Rs. 3000 to Rs. 4000 engaged in Irrigation and Public Health Department. This would benefit about 6220 water guards and about 500 para fitters and para pump operators.

The Cabinet decided to continue the Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) for procurement of apple during the current apple season. It also decided to enhance the procurement price under MIS from Rs. 7.50 to Rs. 8 per kg.  As many as 279 procurement centres would be opened in different parts of the state to facilitate the apple growers.

The Cabinet also decided that state-level function would be organized at Shimla on the birth anniversary of first Chief Minister Dr. Y.S Parmar on 4th August 2019.

 It gave its consent to accord District level status to Nalwar Mela Lambathach in Thunag tehsil of Mandi district.

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Solan Building Collapse: Death Toll Rises to 14 Including 13 Jawans and 1 Civilian, Rescue Operation Concluded

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Solan Building Collapse death toll

Solan-The toll of those killed in the collapse of a multi-storey building yesterday in Kumarhatti of Solan district that also housed a restaurant ‘Sehaj Tandoori Dhaba’ has risen to 14 as the rescue teams recovered more bodies. Over 25 people have been rescued and sent to Dharampur hospital for treatment. The deceased included 13 army jawans and one civilian, confirmed the Vivek Chandel, ADM, Solan. The rescue operation has concluded. As per the administration, total 42 people were trapped including 30 Jawans of Assam Rifles and 12 civilians. 

“Since yesterday, 17 Armymen and 11 civilians have been rescued. Three teams of the National Disaster Response Force have taken over the rescue,”

the Deputy Commissioner KC Chaman told PTI.

The building located on the Nahan-Kumarhatti road that housed a restaurant on one of the floors came down around 4 PM on July 14. As it was Sunday, several army personals of Assam Rifles had come to dine at the restaurant. The hotel owner also lived in the building along with his wife and two children. While the children were playing in the neighbourhood, their mother was present in the building. She reportedly died in the collapse, confirmed Additional SP Shiv Kumar Sharma.

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Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on July 15 also visited the spot and ordered a magisterial probe to ascertain the cause of the collapse. An FIR against the owner of the building has also been registered.
Jairam thakur in solan

With this tragedy, questions are being raised over the legality of the construction. The building that was constructed in 2009 had at least four storeys. One of the storeys, as per reports, was added recently.Some reports suggested that complaints were also filed regarding the construction of this building.

Solan Rescue Operation

Currently, weak foundation and non-compliance with existing rules regarding the construction of buildings are considered as causes of the collapse. However, the district administration officials said the actual causes could only be ascertained after a probe.

Over 250 men of National Disaster Relief Force, District Police, and army jawans from nearby cantonment were continuously carrying out rescue work since yesterday. 

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