Tamil Nadu: In an urgent need to end the growing menace of quackery in the state, the health authorities are not planning to book quacks for attempt to murder, under the relevant sections of the IPC.
This comes after many failed attempts by the police to prevent these quacks from practicing in the state. Recently TOI reported that the authorities had arrested 21 quacks from the Tiruvallur district over the course of last month. These quacks were indeed having a flourishing practice in the wake of fever outbreak that has gripped the district. On Monday , police arrested two more quacks – Devaraj S, a BSc graduate, and Prince Sabinus, a class 12 pass out from the same area.
Ironically, 19 of these quacks have now been released, some after paying a fine of mere Rs 1000. Many have even resumed practice, reports the daily. On the other hand, death toll in the district is on a steep rise. At least six of the eight children who died of viral and bacterial infections approached fake practitioners before they sought real help, but it was too late
The authorities, struggling to stop the menace in the absence of proper anti-quackery laws in the state, are now hunting for new solutions to the growing problem. One such suggestion is indeed to be book them under attempt to murder
” As of now, quacks are supposed to be booked for violation of sections of the Indian Medical Council Act, which prohibit non-medical people from practising medicine, and the Drugs and Cosmetics Act if we find them doling out prescriptions. But most often they are booked only for cheating and impersonation,” said K Senguttuvan, director of medical and rural health services. Officials told TOI.
IMC Act calls for a punishment of one year imprisonment and/or Rs 1,000 fine. Allopathic practitioner have called this punishment too low, demanding proper mechanisms and stronger political will to put an end to this menace of quackery
“What we need now is an anti-quackery law which has been long pending in the state,” said Dr R V S Surendran, who is part of the ethics committee in Tamil Nadu Medical Council.