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Plea before Bombay High Court challenges ban on private practice by doctors in public service

Socio Legal Corp

Written by Shruti Sharma

The Bombay High Court recently served notice on the Maharashtra government on a petition challenging the ‘blanket ban’ on medical officers, which prohibits them from practising in private clinics or hospitals after their duty hours at a public hospital or health centre [Dr Anil Shankar Rathod vs State of Maharashtra]. The State officials were served with a notice by a division bench of Justices Sanjay Gangapurwala and Shreeram Modak, who urged them to file their answer by the next date of hearing on August 7. It is claimed that “a GR dated September 16, 1972 was issued which provided compensation allowance for loss of private practise well before his admission into the military,” according to the plea.

Rathod stated in his appeal that numerous medical officers in the government service practise privately in order to reach out to the general populace.

“It should have asked us if we wanted to go with NPA or remain with private practise and begin duty hours,” the petitioner stated. Given the blanket restriction on private practise, Rathod stated that he is now afraid of coercive action by the respondent authorities and has requested a directive declaring that the sections in the 2012 GR do not apply to him. In the alternative, he requested protection from forced action by state agencies, as well as the choice for medical personnel to choose between NPA and private practise.

— The case, initiated by counsel Vinod Sangvikar, contested key provisions of a Government Resolution (GR) issued on August 7, 2012, which prohibited private practice.


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