SC DI­RECTS J&K HIGH COURT TO RE­CON­SIDER BAN ON PRI­VATE PRAC­TICE BY GOV­ERN­MENT DOC­TORS

Libertatem Magazine - - From The Courtroom -

Case - State of Jammu & Kash­mir v. Vichar Kranti In­ter­na­tional, 2016 SCC On­line SC 1160, de­cided on 21.10.2016 The Supreme Court has set aside an or­der of J&K High Court which had banned pri­vate prac­tice by gov­ern­ment doc­tors. The court re­manded the mat­ter to the high court by ob­serv­ing that the rules re­lated to med­i­cal prac­tice in the state were not chal­lenged be­fore the high court. Ear­lier a writ pe­ti­tion was filed chal­leng­ing a gov­ern­ment or­der dated Au­gust 11, 2005, is­sued in the Ed­u­ca­tion

De­part­ment that “di­rected that no of­fi­cial shall un­der­take any ac­tiv­ity/as­sign­ment, in­clud­ing teach­ing in a pri­vate in­sti­tu­tion or coach­ing cen­tre, un­less per­mis­sion is ob­tained from the com­pe­tent au­thor­ity to do so”, the High Court in its fi­nal judg­ment quashed the GO and is­sued a

blan­ket di­rec­tion reg­u­lat­ing apart from gov­ern­ment teach­ers and gov­ern­ment med­i­cal doc­tors en­gag­ing in self-em­ploy­ment or other ac­tiv­i­ties.

The Supreme Court ob­served that the High Court was not ap­prised of the rel­e­vant statu­tory rules which gov­ern the field and the cir­cu­lar, re­lied on by the high court, had no ap­pli­ca­tion to gov­ern­ment doc­tors.“the reg­u­la­tion of pri­vate prac­tice by gov­ern­ment doc­tors is the sub­ject mat­ter of sep­a­rate rules framed by the State Gov­ern­ment. Nei­ther were those rules un­der chal­lenge be­fore the high court nor did the high court had the ben­e­fit of eval­u­at­ing the rules be­fore it pro­ceeded to de­cide the case.”

The court also ob­served that ba­sic is­sue which re­quires to be ad­dressed is the avail­abil­ity of in­fra­struc­ture and fa­cil­i­ties in gov­ern­ment hos­pi­tals across the state of Jammu and Kash­mir and the fa­cil­i­ties for the treat­ment of pa­tients. The bench also di­rected the high court to look into fol­low­ing is­sues: avail­abil­ity of ad­e­quate in­fra­struc­ture in gov­ern­ment hos­pi­tals; avail­abil­ity of es­sen­tial equip­ment for treat­ment; avail­abil­ity of staff, para-med­i­cal and of a sup­port­ing na­ture, En­force­ment of con­di­tions of hy­giene to se­cure proper med­i­cal treat­ment fa­cil­i­ties; avail­abil­ity of es­sen­tial medicines.

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