To verify whether doctors appearing in programmes had licence to practice

Declining to grant relief sought by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Tamil Nadu Branch, the Madras High Court has directed the Director-General of Police to depute a police officer not below the rank of a Deputy Commissioner (DC) to inspect the offices of four television channels here.

The police officer should verify whether doctors who gave programmes on the channels had a licence to practice medicine or were quacks.

In his order on a writ petition, Justice S. Nagamuthu said though allegations were made that quacks were also appearing in programmes on television channels, as of now, there was no material to accept it. Therefore, the relief sought for in the petition could not be granted. However, the court could not allow quacks to practise medicine.

The grievance of the IMA is that in the programmes conducted by four television channels some persons claiming to be doctors appear and declare they can cure diseases such as AIDS, kidney disorders etc. The Association doubted whether they were qualified doctors. It sought a mandamus forbearing quacks from giving programmes on television channels and to prevent channels and magazines from conducting such programmes.

The channels, Vijay Television, Raj Television, Raj Digital Plus and Jaya TV, submitted that doctors who gave such programmes were qualified. Only after verifying the certificates, did the channels allow them to conduct programmes.

Counsel submitted that the channels were interested in the welfare of the public and would not allow any quack to appear on a programme. They were prepared to produce the relevant records for inspection to ascertain the doctors' genuineness.

The Judge recorded this statement and said, as assured the channels would furnish all the records and details required for inspection.

Keywords: IMAquacks