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 petitioner. 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). '"