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384                                             MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE

Every medical certificate made under the Indian Lunacy Act is a legal
document, giving evidence of the facts therein appearing and of the judgment
therein stated to have been formed by the person certifying on such facts,
as if the matters therein appearing had been verified on oath.14

To avoid legal action for wrongful certification the medical practitioner
must be very careful in giving a certificate of lunacy for admission into a
mental hospital, as he is responsible for having an alleged lunatic sent to a
mental hospital, but his responsibility ceases on the latter's admission into
the mental hospital. It must be remembered that a reception order required
to be founded on a medical certificate shall not be made unless the person
who signs the medical certificate or, where two certificates are required,
each person who signs a certificate, has personally examined the alleged
lunatic, in the case of an order upon petition, not more than seven clear
days before the date of the presentation of the petition, and, in all other cases,
not more than seven clear days before the date of the order.15 The
Magistrate may, in his discretion, extend this period within which the
alleged lunatic must have been medically examined.16

On receipt of the petition, the Magistrate holds inquiry in private, and
personally examines the alleged lunatic, unless for reasons recorded in
writing he thinks it unnecessary or inexpedient to do so. If he is satisfied,
he forthwith issues a reception order (Appendix V, Form 2). If he is not
so satisfied, he fixes a day for the consideration of the petition, due notice
being given to the petitioner, and to any other person to- whom in the opinion
of the Magistrate notice should be given, and he makes such further
inquiries concerning the alleged lunatic as he thinks fit. In the meantime
he may pass necessary orders for the safe custody of the alleged lunatic
until the inquiry is concluded.

On considering the petition, the Magistrate may grant a reception order,
which holds good for seven days1, or he may refuse the petition, when he has
to give the reasons in writing, a copy of which has to be supplied to the

No reception order can be made under petition, except in the case of a
lunatic who is dangerous, and unfit to be at large, unless the Magistrate is
satisfied that the person in charge of a mental hospital is willing to receive
the lunatic, and the petitioner or some other person engages in writing to
the satisfaction of the Magistrate to pay the cost of maintenance of the
lunatic (Section 11, The Indian Lunacy Act, 1912, as modified upto the first
October 1931).

3. Reception Orders otherwise than on Petition.—When any European
subject to the provisions of the Army Act or the Air Force Act has been
declared a lunatic in accordance with the provisions of the military or air
force regulations in force for the time being, he may be admitted into a
mental hospital which has been duly authorised for the purpose by the
Governor-General-in-Council, on a reception order signed by an adminis-
trative medical officer, if he thinks that the admission of the said lunatic
into the mental hospital is necessary (Section 12, The Indian Lunacy Act,
1912, as modified upto the 1st October 1931).

. If an Indian soldier has been declared insane by a medical board, he has
to be discharged from the Army, and handed over to his relatives. If the
relatives be not at hand, or if the Indian soldier, by reason of insanity, be
dangerous to himself or to others, he should be handed over to the civil
authorities for disposal as a civilian.

14.    Section 18(3).

15.  "The Indian Lunacy" Jtctf 1$12» Section 19(1)

16.    Ibid., Section 11-B (2) (d).                          '"