SC: Unauthorized Medical Practice- a Threat to Lives of People

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April 16, 2018

Case name: Kerala Ayurveda Paramparya Vaidya Forum v. State of Kerala and Others

Date of Judgement: April 13, 2018

Brief facts of the case: The appellants were a number of persons practicing in Sidha/Unani/Ayurveda system of medicine called as “Paramparya Vaidyas’. The main objective of the Forum is the welfare of its members and to render assistance for practice in indigenous medicines. However, pursuant to the enactment of the Travancore-Cochin Medical Practitioners Act, 1953 the ‘Paramparya Vaidyas’ were debarred from practicing modern modern/homoeopathic/ayurvedic/siddha/unani-tibbi medicines unless registered under the Act. Being aggrieved by the enactment, Akhila Kerala Parambarya Vaidya Federation as well as the persons practicing as ‘Paramparya Vaidyas’ lodged petitions with the High Court. However, the High Court dismissed the petitioner, aggrieved by which the Appellants approached the Supreme Court.

Before the Supreme Court also the Appellants met with a similar fate. The Two-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court while dismissing the Appeal, made the following observations in the case:

  • That persons having no recognized and approved qualifications, having little knowledge about the indigenous medicines, are becoming medical practitioners and playing with the lives of thousands and millions of people.
  • That a number of unqualified, untrained quacks are posing a great risk to the entire society and playing with the lives of people without having the requisite training and education in the science from approved institutions. That Travancore-Cochin Medical Practitioners Act, 1953 as well as the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970 were also enacted on the similar lines.
  • That every practitioner shall be deemed to be a practitioner registered under the Act if at the commencement of this Act, his name stands entered in the appropriate register maintained under the said Act and every certificate of registration issued to every such practitioner shall be deemed to be a certificate of registration issued under this Act.
  • That in the instant case, appellants failed to show that they possessed requisite recognized qualification for registration entitling them to practice Indian system of medicines or their names have been entered in the appropriate registers after the commencement of this Act.

The entire case can be accessed here.