The Bombay high court has directed the Maharashtra medical council (MMC) not to delay suspension or cancelling registration of doctors charged with or convicted for contravening provisions of the Pre-Conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act.
The court clarified that the mandate of the law is clear — the state medical council must place registration of the doctor under suspension immediately after charges are framed against him/her, and de-register the doctor — for five years for the first offence and permanently for the subsequent offence – if he/she is convicted in the case.
“There is absolutely no warrant for holding any inquiry so as to delay the taking of action,” justice SC Dharmadhikari said, while hearing a petition filed by Dr Pradipchandra Gandhi, 58, and his son Dr Tejas, 31, from Solapur.
On April 27, 2007, medical superintendent of the sub-district hospital raided the polyclinic of the father-son duo at Akluj and found that details of pregnant women on whom sonography was conducted were not maintained properly. They were prosecuted and convicted by a local magistrate court in December 2011. The magistrate held them guilty on five counts and sentenced them to rigorous imprisonment for one year and imposed a fine of Rs5,000 for each count.
The MMC on June 16, 2012 suspended their registration. Their counsel Surel Shah contended that the conviction and sentence had been stayed by the sessions court at Malshiras, and therefore, the council could not have suspended their registration. He ultimately withdrew the petition for availing alternate remedy of appeal against the MMC order.
The court was, however, irked to note that the MMC thought it necessary to conduct an inquiry before placing theirregistration under suspension. The court clarified that the provisions of PCPNDT Act do not require an inquiry for suspending registration of doctors against whom charges are framed and de-registering those convicted.