The Tamil Nadu Siddha Medical Graduates Association has filed a contempt petition against the Director-General of Police seeking to punish her for “wilful and wanton disobedience” of a court order issued in April 2006.

The association, represented by its president R. Kumar, said its members were duly registered in the State register. They were qualified doctors who had studied in approved institutions and obtained degrees in Bachelor of Siddha Medicine and Surgery (BSMS) from recognised universities.

The Central Council of Indian Medicine issued a notification in October 1996 that stated that institutionally qualified practitioners of Indian systems of medicine (Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani) were eligible to practise Indian systems of medicine and modern medicine, including surgery, gynaecology and obstetrics based on their training and teaching.

The notification stated that ‘modern medicine' meant advancements made in various branches of modern scientific medicine. According to the notification members of the association registered as Siddha practitioners could also practise Allopathy, a modern, advanced medicine.

The association said allopathic practitioners were “maintaining enmity” against the practitioners of Indian systems of medicine and misleading the public.

In 2006, following a writ petition by the association, the High Court granted interim injunction on April 7, 2006 restraining the police from interfering with the professional practice of members of the association who held valid registration certificate. The association members were peacefully practising their profession.

Now, once again, the Indian Medical Association had raked up the issue. In the guise of a court order to identify quacks, it was using the police to take action against members of the association. Cases had been registered against the members of the association under various provisions of IPC and Indian Medical Council Act.

The association sent legal notice in April this year to the Director-General of Police, Letika Saran, explaining matters. Even after this, the arrests were continuing.

Justice F.M.Ibrahim Kalifulla ordered the government advocate to get instructions on the outcome of a communication by the Principal Secretary to the DGP dated June 15. The matter has been posted for July 16.

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