Practitioners of Indian Systems of Medicine cannot prescribe allopathic medicines

Delhi High Court:  While discussing the plea filed by Delhi Medical Association the Court put an end to the age old debate of whether BUMS, BIMS, BAMS and other practitioners of Indian Systems of Medicine can prescribe allopathic medicines, by concluding that such practitioners cannot practice modern scientific system of medicine viz. Allopathic system of medicine. The petition was filed by Delhi Medical Association under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, filed as a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), inter alia seeks directions for ensuring that no practitioner of Indian System of Medicine or of Homoeopathic Medicine practices in Allopathic System of Medicine including by prescribing Allopathic Medicines. The petition also impugns Section 2(h) of the Delhi Bharatiya Chikitsa Parishad Act, 1998 (DBCP Act) and the Notification No.28-5/2004-Ay. (MM) dated 19th May, 2004 of the respondent no.8 Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) on the basis whereof the practitioners of Indian System of Medicine are said to be claiming to have a right to practice in the Allopathic System of Medicine.

The Division Bench comprising of G. Rohini, C.J. and Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, J. said that allowing persons not holding qualification in modern scientific system of medicine to practice this system of medicine can play “havoc with the health and lives of citizens” of the city.
The practitioner of ‘Bharatiya Chikitsa’ Indian System of Medicine such as Ayurveda, Siddha, Tibb and Unani medicine cannot practise modern scientific system of medicine including prescribing allopathic medicines. It said that the Delhi Bharatiya Chikitsa Parishad (DBCP) was relying on a Section of DBCP Act defining “integrated medicine” to claim that its members are entitled to prescribe allopathic drugs.In the order, the Court said those having qualification in “integrated medicine” under the DBCP Act could make use of the modern advances in various sciences such as Radiology Report, X-Ray, Complete Blood Picture Report, Lipids report, E.C.G for purposes of practicing in the Indian system of medicine.  It also observed that, “To hold otherwise would blur the otherwise well-defined boundaries between the two systems of medicine.” The Court further held “No practitioner of Indian System of Medicine or holding a qualification as listed in the Schedule to the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970, even if it be of in integrated medicine… of the DBCP Act, 1998, is entitled to practice modern scientific system.”

It was also observed that, ‘Though the petition claims reliefs with respect to practitioners of homoeopathy also but as the narrative aforesaid would show, the petition is directed against the practitioners of Indian System of Medicine and not against practitioners of Homoeopathic System of Medicine. So much so that the Central Council of Homoeopathy constituted under the Homoeopathy Act has not even been impleaded as respondent to the petition. The arguments also were confined to the practitioners of Indian System of Medicine only. We as such are in this proceeding not dealing with the reliefs claimed vis-à-vis homoeopathy’. [Delhi Medical Association v. Principal Secretary (Health), 2016 SCC OnLine Del 2289, Decided on 8 April, 2016]

To read the Judgment, click HERE

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