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Section 26 Mental Healthcare Act 2017: Right to personal contacts & communication

Section 26 (Right to personal contacts and communication) under Chapter V (Rights of Persons with Mental Illness) of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 —

❝(1) A person with mental illness admitted to a mental health establishment shall have the right to refuse or receive visitors and to refuse or receive and make telephone or mobile phone calls at reasonable times subject to the norms of such mental health establishment.

(2) A person with mental illness admitted in a mental health establishment may send and receive mail through electronic mode including through e-mail.

(3) Where a person with mental illness informs the medical officer or mental health professional in charge of the mental health establishment that he does not want to receive mail or e-mail from any named person in the community, the medical officer or mental health professional in charge may restrict such communication by the named person with the person with mental illness.

(4) Nothing contained in sub-sections (1) to (3) shall apply to visits from, telephone calls to, and from mail or e-mail to, and from individuals, specified under clauses (a) to (f) under any circumstances, namely:—
 (a) any Judge or officer authorised by a competent court;
 (b) members of the concerned Board or the Central Authority or the State Authority;
 (c) any member of the Parliament or a Member of State Legislature;
 (d) nominated representative, lawyer or legal representative of the person;
 (e) medical practitioner in charge of the person's treatment;
 (f) any other person authorised by the appropriate Government.❞

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