13 Dec 2012
Doctors Found Violating PCPNDT Act n Medical Councils Asked To Cancel Licences
The state government has written to medical bodies to suspend the licences of 69 doctors, including practitioners of ayurveda and homeopathy for having violated the provisions of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (prevention of sex determination) (PCPNDT) Act 1994 and the amended Preconception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 2002.
Of the 69 doctors from across the state, Pune division has contributed the highest number of such doctors, followed by Latur division (15) and Kolhapur division (14). There are six doctors each from Nagpur and Nashik division and five doctors from Thane who have made it to the list. Two doctors from Akola division and one doctor from Aurangabad division also figure in this list. This was revealed during the state supervisory board’s meeting which was held in Nagpur on December 10.
Asaram Khade, consultant to the state health department for implementation of the PCPNDT Act said, "Suspension of licence is the sternest action that can be taken against a doctor for violating the provisions of the act." He further said that the state health department’s move to seek suspension had created a flutter among those who use sonography machine illegally, such as for conducting sex determination test.
Of the 69 doctors who have their licences on the line, 55 are allopath doctors and seven each are homeopath and ayurveda practitioners. "The names of 55 allopath doctors have been communicated to Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) and the names of the remaining 14 doctor have been communicated to homeopathy and ayurveda councils," Khade said. The list includes doctors who have been convicted as well as those against whom charges have been framed in court.
The Bombay High Court in its order on October 22 this year had directed MMC to suspend doctors convicted for violating the act and to also take action against those against whom charges had been framed. The HC had stated that names of doctors who had flouted the act’s provisions be reported for action to the medical council by the authority implementing the act.
The action against these doctors includes suspension of registration till the case is disposed of if charges have been framed in court. In case of conviction in a lower court, the doctor would not be allowed to practice until the case is disposed by an appellate court. Those convicted will be struck off the council register for five years for the first offence (unless the higher courts absolve the doctor), and permanently for a subsequent offence.
Earlier MMC had placed 21 doctors under temporary suspension and permanently suspended one doctor. When contacted an official from MMC said, "The process of issuing show cause notice to some of these doctors has already been initiated."
"After a showcause notice is served, the doctor concerned is called before the MMC’s executive council to explain his/her stand. If he/she fails to appear or fails to provide satisfactory explanation then he/she may face temporary suspension of registration as a practicing doctor. MMC’s action depends upon the actual infringement of the act," said senior gynaecologist Sanjay Gupte, an MMC member.
Elaborating, advocate Milind Salunkhe, PMC’s counsel on PCPNDT cases, said, "As per section 23 (2) of the PCPNDT Act, if the charges are framed by the trial court, then registration to practice as a doctor issued by respective state medical council shall be suspended until the final disposal of the case. If the court convicts any doctor under the PCPNDT Act, then will be suspended for five years and for a subsequent offence, the doctor’s registration with MMC will be cancelled forever."