No proceedings can be initiated against such registered practitioners: court

No proceedings can be initiated against registered practitioners of Siddha, Ayurveda, Homoeopathy and Unani, who are also eligible to practice modern scientific medicine, including surgery, gynaecology, obstetrics, anaesthesiology, ENT and ophthalmology, the Madras High Court has said.

This is in the light of a circular issued by the police, the court said.

Passing orders on a contempt petition filed by the Tamil Nadu Siddha Medical Graduates Association (TNSMGA), Justice F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla said if any action had been taken against the medical practitioners, it should be dropped forthwith, pending further orders in a writ petition. The TNSMGA prayed the court to punish Director-General of Police Letika Saran for her wilful and wanton disobedience of a High Court order of April 2006.

Interim injunction

The order had granted interim injunction restraining the DGP from interfering with the professional practice of those members of the association who held a valid registration certificate issued by the Tamil Nadu Siddha Medical Council till such time such registration continued to be valid to practise as Siddha Medical Practitioners as prescribed under the Indian Medicine Central Council Act.

Subsequent to the order, the government's Principal Secretary, in his communication to the DGP dated June 15 this year, had made it clear that institutionally qualified practitioners of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani, who were registered with the Tamil Nadu Board of Indian Medicine, were eligible to practice the respective system with Allopathy based on the training and teaching they had during the course. They could not exclusively practice Allopathy.

A further direction had also been issued in the communication.

Petitioners' counsel S. Prabakaran brought to the court's notice the arrest of members of the TNSMGA between January 9 last year and June 12 this year in violation of the court's order.

The Special Government Pleader placed before the court a circular memo issued by the police dated June 19 this year.

Closing the contempt petition, Mr. Justice Ibrahim Kalifulla said in the light of the circular, it was imperative that no proceedings could be initiated against any of those registered practitioners of Siddha, Ayurveda, Homoeopathy and Unani.

Such registration of the practitioners should be with the Tamil Nadu Siddha Medical Council, Tamil Nadu Board of Indian Medicine and Tamil Nadu Homoeopathy Medical Council as well as those qualified doctors recognised by Madurai Kamaraj University and Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University who had been qualified respectively in the system of Bachelor of Siddha Medicine and Surgery.