Precise sharp judgment against quack practitioners in Ayush systems
New Delhi: 13 April 2018 Ayurveda, unani or homoeopathy healers cannot practise without getting themselves officially registered, the Supreme Court has ruled while expressing concern at quacks “playing with lives”.
Practitioners of alternative medicine need to be registered under the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, for which they are required to obtain a degree or diploma from a recognised institution teaching these courses.
“Pursuant to the enactment of the Travancore-Cochin Medical Practitioners Act, 1953 (in short ‘the Act’), the ‘Paramparya Vaidyas’ were debarred from practicing modern/homoeopathic/ayurvedic/siddha/unani-tibbi medicines unless registered under the Act. Subsequently, three Central Acts, viz., The Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, The Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970 and the Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973 with regard to modern medicine, indigenous medicine and homoeopathic medicine respectively came into force”.
“Earlier, there were very few institutions imparting teaching and training to doctors, vaidyas and hakimis,” the bench of Justices R.K. Agrawal and M. Shantanagoudar observed on Friday.
“But the situation has changed and there are quite a good number of institutions imparting education in indigenous medicines.”
Therefore, the bench said, there is no excuse 70 years after Independence for people “having little knowledge or having no recognised or approved qualification… practising medicine and playing with the lives of thousands and millions of people”.
“A number of unqualified, untrained quacks are posing a great risk to the entire society,” it added.
The court dismissed a plea from the Kerala Ayurveda Paramparya Vaidya Forum, which had challenged a 15-year-old Kerala High Court order that had rejected its plea to allow the unregistered to practise indigenous medicine.
The state government defended the restrictions, saying many people were practising indigenous medicine without qualification or registration in Kerala, endangering people’s lives and health