Shubha Deshpande, Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad
Forensic Psychiatry is a much recent development in India when compared to the rest of the world. The study in this area is known to be inadequate as several private and state medical psychiatric facilities do not have an exclusive coverage given to Forensic Psychiatry and the ones existing are not competent enough to deal with the complexities of the cases. In present times, the study of forensic psychiatry is no more limited to the medical psychiatry and their patients. It uses legal tests to make a clear differentiation between legal insanity and insanity, new methods for the treatment of depressive conditions, the understanding of social behaviour and public’s perceptions on criminals and psychological illness. Forensic psychiatrists assist the courts in dealing with sensitive cases which result in better outcomes and the assistance provided to the lawmakers helps to realize the goals of medical therapy. Such role can be played only by a person who has extensive knowledge and experience in each of these fields. There is still progress needed to bridge this gap between psychiatry and law so that both fields can work hand in hand efficiently. In this research paper, the author seeks to establish a connection between psychiatry and law, emphasizing the importance of both areas working jointly. The author will provide a brief history and evolution of forensic psychiatry in India, as well as a summary of the country's mental health laws. The author would also look into the ethical issues surrounding the merging of law and psychiatry. Lastly, the author would give suggestions for improvement in the area of forensic psychiatry.