Take stringent action on medical corruption: High Court to Govt

While the court directed the government to take all necessary measures for effective implementation of the Regulations on the ground, it said the violations reported must be dealt with stringently.
Representational Pic
Representational Pic

The High Court on Saturday directed the government to implement the regulations providing mechanism to deal with medical corruption in Jammu and Kashmir.

Closing a suo moto Public Interest litigation which it hadinitiated after taking cognizance of articles published in Greater Kashmirand The Hindu in 2016, a division bench of Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey andJustice D S Thakur directed Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Educationto provide wide publicity to Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct,Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002.

While the court directed the government to take all necessarymeasures for effective implementation of the Regulations on the ground, it saidthe violations reported must be dealt with stringently.

"The general public must be made aware of the action taken incase of defaulters so that a message goes to one and all that the laws are notmeant to be eroded but to be followed," court said.

The court said although it closed the PIL, it would continueto keep an eye on the effective implementation of the laws on the subject andthe authorities would be required to send a report on monthly basis to itsRegistry. The report, the court said, should be detailing out the complaintsaddressed to it by the public and the action taken pursuant to such complaints.

The court asked the Registry to maintain an index in thisbehalf.

The court said during the pendency of the PIL, it noticedthat there was a well-established mechanism which deals with the issues raisedin the PIL. The only missing link, the court said, appeared to be theill-awareness of such mechanism among the general public.

The court however said the issues related to sale,procurement, and distribution of sub-standard drugs were being dealt with by itin a PIL of 2013 titled Dr Nissar-ul-Hassan vs State and others.

"We feel that in existence of the relevant rules, the courtdoes not require to run any parallel proceedings and accordingly, theproceedings initiated in this PIL deserve to be closed," the bench said.

The court closed the PIL after observing that PrincipalSecretary Health and Medical Education Department had filed an affidavitindicating the action taken in respect of the companies whose drugs were foundon analysis sub-standard besides the steps taken for ensuring procuring ofstandard drugs for the government hospitals.

"The respondents appear to have taken considerable steps inthe matter since the time the court has shown its indulgence," the court said.

The court however held that its concern was to see that thehardships faced by the general public on account of medical malpractices wastaken care of effectively and a stringent course was provided for dealing withany unethical and unprofessional omissions or commissions of the medicalfraternity. In 2017, Medical Council of India filed an affidavit accompaniedwith the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics)Regulations, 2002, which prescribe many mechanisms to deal with almost all theissues raised in the PIL.

While additional advocategeneral Shah Aamir represented the Jammu and Kashmir Government, Tahir Shamsirepresented the Union Health Secretary. Advocate Shakir Haqani assisted thecourt on behalf of amicus curiae Altaf Haqani.

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