SC: Only NMC has the power to punish doctors for misconduct, not even Courts
Numerous complaints were filed against such unauthorised construction
Holding that a doctor's license cannot be suspended as a penalty in contempt proceedings, the Supreme Court bench on Friday observed that the power to punish a registered medical practitioner for “misconduct” rests exclusively with the National Medical Commission.
The top court bench was considering a plea challenging the order of the Calcutta High Court, which upheld the orders passed by the Single Judge last year in contempt proceedings and suspended the licence of the petitioner doctor to practice medicine.
Further with the order dated 14th July 2022, while extending the period of suspension till 19th August 2022, the petitioner was asked to show cause as to why such suspension be not affected for a period of two years.
The proceedings against the petitioner were initiated as he unauthorizedly constructed a structure which was in deviation with the plans sanctioned by the Siliguri Municipal Corporation.
Numerous complaints were filed against such unauthorised construction.
In respect of this issue, the Urban Development and Municipal Affairs, West Bengal passed orders in 2020 and asked Siliguri Municipal Corporation to take necessary steps to aid the petitioner in undertaking self demolition of the unauthorised construction and, in the event of his failure to do so, directed that the SMC itself undertakes such steps to do so.
Following this, a contempt plea was filed against the petitioner doctor and in this regard, the license of the doctor, to practice medicine, was suspended.
While considering the matter, the Supreme Court bench noted that the grant, regulation and suspension of the licence to practice medicine is governed by the National Medical Commission Act, 2019.
A statutory body namely the National Medical Commission looks after the issues including maintenance of a medical register for India and enforces high ethical standards in regard of all aspects of medical services.