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Toothless law encouraging quacks in society: Court

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

"Toothless" and lack of effective prosecution has led to the mushrooming of quacks rather than stopping such "unscrupulous people", a observed while acquitting a man accused of wrongfully practising medicine.

The acquitted the man, who is also facing trial in a separate case where a child died after the accused allegedly administered him an injection, saying there was lack of evidence against him owing to investigative lapses which have entirely dented the prosecution case.

"Quackery in the society is on a rise where unscrupulous people start practising Allopathy and Ayurvedic medicines which may at times take lives of the innocent persons. ... The toothless would help and encourage these people more rather than to stop quackery," Metropolitan Magistrate Pankaj Sharma observed.

The magistrate, while freeing the accused who has served as a medical assistant in Army Corps, noted that the Bhartiya Chikitsa Parishad (DBCP) Act 1998, under which the accused was charged, does not provide for seizure of articles during raid which shows that it "lacks teeth for effective prosecution of persons involved in quackery."

"The prosecution has to produce the evidence which is supportive of their case and which requires seizure of things, articles, medicines, prescription slips, records, video footage and other evidence related to, facts and circumstances which are totally ignored in this case," the said.

It further said, "it is apparent that the accused served in Army Corps as medical assistant and did not have any requisite qualification to act like a doctor and administer medicines to patients but due to lack of any evidence against him owing to investigative lapses, it dented prosecution case in entirety."

Expressing concern over rising number of quacks, the court said that medical profession requires specialised education and authorisation and in its absence, such offenders will grow and destroy people's faith in the field of medicine.

According to the prosecution, on July 8, 2010, the DBCP, through its Anti-Quackery team held an inspection in Palam area in South West to check any unqualified person practising Indian system of Medicine.

During a raid conducted at the premises of the accused at Palam Colony, he was allegedly found practising medicine without licence and authorisation.

The prosecution said theaccused, who claimed to be a

retiredNursing Assistant andBTA (BloodTransfusion Assistant) fromArmyMedicalCollege,failed to producehis registration certificate with Delhi Bhartiya Chikitsa Parishad andalso hismedical qualificationto practice medicine.

The court said, "Thesequacksposeagreatthreatto societyandif these unscrupulous peoplewouldbeallowedto gofreeduetotoothlessprosecution,it wouldbedetrimental tointerestofgeneralpublicandbeneficialtooffenders."

"Themedicalprofessionrequiresspecializededucation and authorisation to practice from competent authority and in absenceofboth,thequacksinthesocietywillgrowandwould destroy faithofthegeneralpublicinthefieldofmedicine asthey areboundto commitseriousmistakesduetolackof competencewhichwouldresult indeathsandotherrelated problemstotheinnocentpeople," it observed.

In his defence, the accused said he was innocent and has been falsely implicated in this case.

First Published: Mon, February 15 2016. 15:22 IST