NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday sought the Center’s response to a plea filed by the Association of Medical Consultants (AMC) in Mumbai, with Section 34 (Practice Rights) of the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Act, 2020 and the National Commission for , challenged Homeopathy Act, 2020.
A Bench of Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Sudhanshu Dulia asked the center and others for a response to an application filed by AMC Mumbai, listing the matter for further hearing on November 4.
The petitioner AMC is an association of around 11,000 doctors practicing in Bombay and the West Indies.
The petitioner was represented by lawyer Sunil Fernandes.
AMC Mumbai in its pleading sought direction to the Center for the repeal or repeal or amendment of Section 34 (Persons’ Rights to Exercise) of the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Act, 2020 and the repeal or repeal or amendment of Section 34 ( Rights of individuals to practice) of the National Commission for Homeopathy Act, 2020.
The petitioner also sought an equivalent order, order or direction to repeal/repeal/amend 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, allowing Shalya and Shalakya PG students to perform 58 surgical procedures upon completion of the Post Graduate Degree in Ayurveda Medicine.
The petitioner said he was deeply saddened by the attacked legislation, which seeks to erase the age-old differences and distinctions between these two broad forms of medical treatment.
“The impugned laws are being challenged on the grounds that they violate Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution, in so far as they allow practitioners of the Indian system of medicine/homeopathy to practice allopathy and perform surgery, thereby harming the public health, medical infrastructure and right to life, including the right to proper and prompt medical assistance, as enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution,” the petition reads.
According to the petition, Section 34(3) of the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Act of 2020 and the National Commission for Homeopathy Act of 2020 allow individuals already on the State Register of Practitioners to continue their practice even if they do not have have the required medical qualifications as required by law.
The petition states that this provision secures the right of a person who has practiced the Indian system of medicine/homeopathy for the past 5 years in a state to continue to practice in that state which does not maintain a state register at the time will of the entry into force of the laws.
The contested statutes authorize practitioners of homeopathy or the Indian medical system without justification or reasonable explanation to perform surgical procedures and use the nomenclature “surgeon” under Section 34(1)(b) of the contested statutes, which in the normal course is within the domain of practitioners of allopathy or modern medicine.
“The National Medical Commission Act 2019, which regulates the practice of allopathic physicians and ensures the maintenance of the highest standards of practice in this field of medicine, defines the term “medicine” in Section 2(j) as “modern scientific medicine in its entirety and including surgery and obstetrics, but not veterinary medicine and surgery”.
The Law of the National Commission of Homeopathy of 2020 did not define the term medicine or surgery,” the pleading said.