A division bench of Justice Sureshwar Thakur and Justice Chander Bhushan Barowalia issued the direction while hearing the plea filed by a law student Tushar Singh, who submitted before the Court that there has been a rise in number of suicides in the State of Himanchal Pradesh, especially in the year 2020; and sought directions to the state government to set up the Suicide Prevention Helpline number.
The petitioner stated that the intention of the legislature through the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 and the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 was to promote awareness and health amongst the mentally ill persons and under Article 38 of the Part IV of the Constitution the State has the fundamental duty to Secure Social Order for Promotion of the Welfare of the People, he suggested that the State Government may set up a Helpline which could be efficiently run by staff with adequate knowledge supported by NGOs, psychologists and ancillary staff.
In this context, the court ordered the government to respond within 6 weeks. The matter has now been posted for hearing on October 15th, 2020.
In the recent past, the Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan had issued to the Delhi Government, Union of India, had issued notice to the Centre and the Insurance Regulatory Development of India (IRDAI) after a plea was filed by Adv. Sunil Kumar to set up counselling centres and helpline numbers to provide psychological counselling.