D.K. Joshi v. State of U.P.

(2000) 5 SCC 80; 2000 (4) ALT 81 (SC); JT 2000 (5) SC 211; 2000 (4) SCALE 72; (2000) 5 SCC 80
Download Judgment: English
Country: India
Region: Asia
Year: 2000
Court: Supreme Court
Health Topics: Medical malpractice, Medicines
Human Rights: Right to life
Tags: Access to medicines

D.K. Joshi, the Appellant, had filed a public interest litigation in the Allahabad High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India (original writ jurisdiction of High Courts) seeking directions against unauthorized and unregistered doctors in Agra, Uttar Pradesh (U.P.). The petition was dismissed on the ground that an enquiry should first be completed by the Chief Medical Officer, Agra. The Appellant then preferred an appeal in the Supreme Court of India.

On the issue of medical practice in the state of U.P., the Supreme Court held that it was a “sad state of affairs” that so many allegations of unlicenced doctors were coming up and the district administration had done nothing about it. The Court held that despite the letter by the Indian Medical Council to the Secretary of Health and Family Welfare (Secretary) had failed to take any follow up action.

Regarding the course of action to be taken, the Court held that the order would be applicable to the state of U.P. and not just to Agra. It further directed the Secretary to take follow up action and necessary steps to prevent unregistered practitioners from being able to practice medicine in the State.

“The Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, State of U.P. shall take such steps as may be necessary to stop carrying on medical profession in the State of U.P. by persons who are unqualified [and] unregistered…” Para. 6.