The Delhi High Court, hearing a plea seeking directions over blatant violation of Indian Medical Council regulations by medical practitioners, on Tuesday directed the respondents to fil- counter affidavits and listed the matter for hearing before Joint Registrar in March and before the bench on July 21, 2023.
It noted that the parties have been impleaded as respondent numbers 4 to 8.
The court was hearing the plea filed by the Association of Practising Pathologists seeking directions to corporate entities/online aggregators in the field of lab services who are indulging in various malpractices and aggressive solicitation/full-page advertisements, etc., in violation of various rules and guidelines governing medical practitioners under the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002.
The HC, on October 28, had directed the impleadment of online aggregators/corporate entities as respondents.
A bench of Justice Yashwant Varma had directed advocate Neeraj Grover, appearing for Association, to implead as respondents the online aggregators/ corporate entities, against whom action for violation of the statutory guidelines is sought for openly soliciting, advertising for lab tests, etc., within three weeks.
Grover had argued that the medical profession as well as the laboratories are highly regulated professions.
The plea sought actions against misleading and bait advertisements, offering ridiculous discounts, sending unsolicited bulk SMSs, and misusing social media platforms such as mobile apps, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, among others; Print and electronic media for enticing, making unsolicited calls for medical laboratory tests by corporate entities/offline and online health service aggregators in flagrant violation of prescribed rules, regulations and guidelines.
They are also violating Article 21 of the Constitution by evading GST by claiming to be registered clinical establishments, causing “unwarranted and irreparable harm” to innocent patients on a daily basis by unwarranted soliciting.
“Torpid inaction over a period of time has destroyed the dignity and honour of the medical profession which is being invaded & compromised by these unscrupulous practices leading to loss of business/reputation of the bona fide pathologists, thereby violating fundamental rights of the members of the petitioner, Association guaranteed by the Constitution of India under Article 14 and loss of revenue to the state and Central governments,” the plea read.