A Bench of Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Sudhanshu Dulia sought a response from the Centre and others on a plea filed by AMC Mumbai and listed the matter on November 4 for further hearing.
The petitioner AMC is an association of around 11,000 doctors practising in Bombay and western India. The petitioner was represented by advocate Sunil Fernandes.
AMC Mumbai, in its plea, sought direction to the Centre for quashing or setting aside or modification of Section 34 (Rights of Persons to practice) of the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Act, 2020 and quashing or setting aside or modification of Section 34 (Rights of Persons to practice) of the National Commission for Homoeopathy Act, 2020.
The petitioner also sought to issue an appropriate writ, order or direction for quashing/setting aside/modification of Regulation 10(9) of the Indian Medicine Central Council (Post Graduate Ayurveda Education) Regulations, 2016, as amended by the Indian Medicine Central Council (Post Graduate Ayurveda Education) Amendment Regulations, 2020, thereby, allowing PG scholars of Shalya and Shalakya to perform 58 surgical procedures after completion of Post Graduate Degree in Ayurveda stream of medicine.
The Petitioner said that it is grievously aggrieved by the Impugned Legislations which seek to obliterate the age-old differences and distinctions between these two broad forms of medicinal treatment.
“The Impugned Legislations are challenged on the grounds of being violative of Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution, so far as it enables the Practitioners of Indian System of Medicine / Homeopathy to practice Allopathy and perform Surgeries, thereby causing grave prejudice to the Public Health, Medical Infrastructure and Right to Life including the Right to Correct and Prompt Medical Aid as enshrined under Article 21 of Constitution,” the petition said.
According to the petition, Section 34 (3) of the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Act, 2020 and the National Commission for Homoeopathy Act, 2020 allow individuals who are already enrolled in the State Register of Practitioners to continue their practice even if they do not possess the required medical qualifications under the Acts.
The petition said that this provision ensures the right of a person who has been practising the Indian System of Medicine/Homeopathy for the last 5 years in a State to continue to practice in that State in which as State Register is not maintained as on the date of the commencement of the Acts.
The Impugned Legislations, without any justification or proper explanation, allow practitioners of Homeopathy or the Indian system of medicine to perform surgical procedures and use the nomenclature of “surgeons” by way of Section 34 (1)(b) of the Impugned Acts, which in the ordinary course, lies within the domain of practitioners of allopathy or modern medicine.
“The National Medical Commission Act 2019, which governs the practice of allopathic doctors and ensures maintenance of highest standards of practice in this field of medicine, defines the term ‘Medicine’ under Section 2(j) to read as “modern scientific medicine in all its branches and includes surgery and obstetrics, but does not include veterinary medicine and surgery”. The National Commission for Homoeopathy Act, 2020 has not defined the term medicine or surgery,” the plea said.