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Mere MBBS CANNOT perform Ultrasound: SC stays Delhi HC Order

Mere MBBS CANNOT perform Ultrasound: SC stays Delhi HC Order

We are of the view that the judgment of the Delhi High Court needs to be stayed during the pendency of these proceedings. The judgment of the High Court squarely impinges upon the directions issued by this Court in Voluntary Health Association of Punjab- Supreme court

New Delhi: In a major setback to MBBS practitioners, hoping to perform ultrasound based on the Delhi High Court order without having a post-graduate qualification in the field or undergoing the mandatory six-months training, the Supreme Court has now stayed the said order stating that the High Court has trenched upon an area of legislative policy.

Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported that in the year 2016, the Delhi High court had declared  Rule 3(3)(1)(b) of the PNDT Rules (as it stands after the amendment with effect from 9th January, 2014) as ultra vires to the extent it requires a person desirous of setting up a Genetic Clinic / Ultrasound Clinic / Imaging Centre to undergo six months training imparted in the manner prescribed in the Six Months Training Rules, observing the following

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For meeting the said objective/purpose ( of the PC-PNDT Act), we fail to understand what difference it makes, whether the sonologist or imaging specialist i.e. a person who can use and operate an ultrasound machine, is a mere MBBS or has a Post Graduate qualification in medicine or has experience of one year or has undergone six months training..

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The judgement had a huge impact on the medical fraternity, by removing the restrictions on the legal rules of the performance of ultrasound, thereby allowing even MBBS doctors to make use of the modality.

Read Also: Delhi High Court Judgement clarifies who can do an ultrasound

The judgement seemed to have become a bone of contention between the specialists and generalists in the medical community, with many radiologists opposing the decision. This finally culminated in IRIA  filing a review petition against the said judgement in the apex Court.

Read Also: IRIA challenges HC judgement on ultrasound practice in Supreme Court

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud heard arguments on behalf of the Centre and other bodies including the Medical Council of India and IRIA in relation to 2016 Delhi High Court verdict and gave interim relief to IRIA stating that Prima facie, the High Court has erred in its finding that there is an absence of statutory power. 

Prima facie, these provisions indicate that Parliament has conferred upon the Central government rule making authority to specify minimum qualification for persons to be employed at genetic counselling centres, laboratories and clinics. Specification of qualifications, in our view, should be read in a purposive sense which will fulfil the object of the law. Even on a plain and natural construction of the words used by Parliament, the specification of qualifications must necessarily comprehend the power to prescribe training. The rationale for this is that the training would sensitize the person concerned to the salutary object and purpose of the legislation which has been enacted by Parliament to deal with a serious social evil and be conscious of the misuse of sex-selection tests. Pre-natal diagnostic procedures are susceptible to grave misuse.

Parliament which has the unquestioned authority and legislative competence to frame the law considered it necessary to empower the Central government to frame rules to govern the qualifications of persons employed in  genetic counselling centres, laboratories and clinics. The wisdom of the legislature in adopting the policy cannot be substituted by the court in the exercise of the power of judicial review. Prima facie the judgment of the Delhi High Court has trenched upon an area of legislative policy. Judicial review cannot extend to reappreciating the efficacy of a legislative policy adopted in a law which has been enacted by the competent legislature. Both the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and the PCPNDT Act are enacted by Parliament. Parliament has the legislative competence to do so. The Training Rules 2014 were made by the Central Government in exercise of the power conferred by Parliament. Prima facie, the rules are neither ultra vires the parent legislation nor do they suffer from manifest arbitrariness.

With the above observations,  the apex court stated that pending final disposal, there shall be a stay of the operation of the judgment and order of the Delhi High Court dated 17 February 2016.

For the reasons that we have indicated, we are of the view that the judgment of the Delhi High Court needs to be stayed during the pendency of these proceedings. The judgment of the High Court squarely impinges upon the directions issued by this Court in Voluntary Health Association of Punjab. We direct in consequence that the judgment of this Court in Voluntary Health Association of Punjab shall be strictly enforced by all states and union territories untrammelled by any order of any High Court or any other court.

Attached is the judgement below


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Source: self

10 comment(s) on Mere MBBS CANNOT perform Ultrasound: SC stays Delhi HC Order

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  1. Most so called sonologist of previous generation never saw a usg machine in college. They r doing usg by just experience. But they don\’t want others to do usg despite being overburdened. They r repeatedly going to court to stop others from doing USG. COURTand Govt r not able to understand this fact and r denying this most simple facility to lacs of patients who need yah. All effected doctors shud write to SC and health minister to bring this personal agenda of radiologist in public

  2. user
    Dr Surendra Varma March 28, 2018, 11:12 pm

    I would like to know that an MBBS doctor like me ..who has spent 37 years of his life doing ultrasound is being denied his legitimate right to continue to work as a sonologist at present. I had my own ultrasound clinic with prescribed official pndt clearance certificate for 16 years.Thereafter I worked as consultant sonologist till August 2017 at various diagnostic centres,,hospitals etc.Due to some health issues..I could not work for 6 months..but now that I am fit enough to work on part time basis..but the local concerned pndt office are not giving me permission to work again..I think that\’s great injustice being done to me..inspite of being allowed to work by Dr Satyajit kumar CMO PCPNDT head office at Vikas Bhawan,Civil lines,Delhi..I would like know from the people,doctor colleagues ,concerned Govt officers the reason fornot giving me the permission..what is basis of rejection of my application..even though I have worked till Aug 2017

  3. user
    Dr raghvendra Narayan Chakurkar March 18, 2018, 7:46 am

    With a training of six months at usg centre certified by government for any MBBS personal getting a licence to use sonography machine is a good decision.
    We can use this modality for betterment of society

  4. Ultrasound should not viewed as a tools for sex selection. It has become an essential tools for Medical Fraternity for detection and evaluation of many many condition . So the Hoble\’ Court and Governemt should declare that all Allopathic doctors can use Ultrasound for non Obstretic cases and accordingly an declaration from user can be received. A Kichen Knife was used for murder . Is the Court or Government going to restrict the sale or use of Kichen Knife.

  5. can radiologist association tell how many radiologist passed only learning x-rays in medical colleges. Before 1990 many renowned medical colleges were not having ultrasound & CT scan machines..the association cannot claim that they are only having right to do ultrasound. They will defeat

  6. user
    Ashutosh Kumar Pandey March 18, 2018, 7:45 am

    Everyone likes to have monopoly, but esteemed radiologists don\’t want to do night calls for USG, Doppler etc.. even getting a CT)MRI reported in the night is a PITA