HC upholds MMC’s right to hold hearings in PCPNDT cases

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SummaryIn relief for doctors, MMC can give graded punishments

In what is being termed as a huge relief for doctors, a two-judge bench of the Bombay High Court has upheld the Maharashtra Medical Council’s right to hold hearings in cases registered under the Pre-Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act. It has also restored the right of the MMC to give graded punishments.

“The judgement delivered last week by Justice S J Wazifdar and Justice M S Sonak will strengthen the MMC to deliver what it is expected of...” MMC chairman Dr Kishore Taori told The Indian Express.

In a majority of the cases, doctors have not been able to maintain records and fulfill other technical requirements under the PCPNDT Act. MMC member Dr Shiv Utture said lower courts had passed conviction orders in such cases and several doctors had appealed against the judgments.

According to state PC-PNDT consultant Dr Asaram Khade, as many as 38 doctors have been till now suspended for violating provisions of the Act while one doctor’s registration has been cancelled by the MMC.

On Wednesday, MMC will conduct a hearing in Mumbai, involving 16 doctors who were issued showcause notices for flouting provisions of the PCPNDT act. As per Section 23 (2) of the PCPNDT Act, the registration of the doctor concerned has to be suspended till the case is disposed of if charges have been framed in court.

Now, before the MMC decides to suspend the doctor, the panel will be able to conduct its own hearing. MMC member Dr Sanjay Gupte said this would be done only in cases where charges have been framed by court against the doctor.

Dr Dilip Sarda, state president of the Indian Medical Association, said they had also warned that doctors caught red-handed in decoy cases conducting illegal sex selection would be immediately struck off their rolls.

Sarda said there was an urgent need to set up a medical tribunal at respective district forums that would scrutinise cases of compensation by patients claiming negligence by doctors.

“At IMA, we have a medico legal cell and have 20 complaints since April. We have resolved several of them,” said Dr Maya Tulpule, IMA city president. The doctors have also raised the issue of attacks on doctors and hospitals and urged police stations to take immediate action.

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