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Nurses Cannot Be Categorized As 'Medical Practitioners', State Medical Council Has No Jurisdiction To Take Action Against Them: Karnataka HC

By LawStreet News Network      01 July, 2019 12:00 AM      0 Comments
Nurses Cannot Be Categorized As 'Medical Practitioners', State Medical Council Has No Jurisdiction To Take Action Against Them: Karnataka HC

The Karnataka High Court on June 18, 2019, in the case of The Medical Superintendent Kasturba Hospital v. Smt. Fathima Bi has held that the nurses cannot be categorized as medical practitioners practicing medicine and the State Medical Council has no jurisdiction to take action against them.

The order was passed by Justice B. Veerappa on a writ petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying to issue writ of certiorari to quash the order dated 2.8.2012 passed by Karnataka Medical Council, Bengaluru.

In this case, the Karnataka Medical Council while hearing a complaint filed by a woman whose child died in the Hospital, concluded that the two nurses of the hospital were negligent. The Medical Council directed the Medical Superintendent of the Kasturba Hospital to take action against them. Aggrieved by the said order the nurses moved the Karnataka High Court.

Before the High Court, it was contended that the nurses are not medical practitioners as contemplated under the provisions of the Karnataka Medical Registration Act, 1961.

Referring to provisions of Karnataka Medical Registration Act, 1961 and Indian Medical Council's Act, 1956, the court said: "In view of the aforesaid provisions, the nurses cannot be categorized as medical practitioners practicing medicine and the Karnataka Medical Council has no jurisdiction to take action against the nurses. If that is so, the impugned direction issued by the 2nd respondent directing 1st petitioner to take action is totally without jurisdiction."

While quashing the order passed by the Medical Council, the court also observed: "Admittedly, petitioners 2 and 3 nurses are not themselves registered by applying to the Registrar giving description of the qualification. Therefore, they are not the medical practitioners and 2nd respondent [Council] has no jurisdiction to initiate any proceedings, question of issuing direction to the 1st petitioner [Medical Superintendent] would not arise. It is for the 1st petitioner to take appropriate action to control all the nurses, to provide good medical service to the patients, who come to the hospital with great expectation and to maintain the medical profession as divine profession."

Read the order below.



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