Supreme Court Nullifies Assam Rural Health Regulatory Authority Act 2004
The act allows diploma holders in medicine and rural health care to treat few common diseases, work on minor tasks and also prescribe certain medicines.
NEW DELHI : On 24th of January, Tuesday, Supreme Court nullifies the Assam Rural Health Regulatory Authority Act, 2004 which allows diploma holders in medicine and rural health care to treat few common diseases, work on minor tasks and also prescribe certain medicines.
A bench constituted by Justice BR Gavai and BV Nagarathna, mentioned that the authorisation of minimum standards for higher education, power to recognise an institution and few other tasks, are areas where laws are directed by the parliament as per Entry 66 List 1 of the Indian Constitution rather than the state legislature.
The bench was set upholding a Guwahati High Court judgement which struck down the act. The apex court further underlined that, state legislature acquires the power to legislate all other areas of education but not the determination of minimum standards and coordination.
Hence, the state legislature does not get to decide the minimum level of medical education, the court added. The bench stated that, Assam Act incorporated in the List III, Entry 25, sought the introduction of a new force in the medical education system along with regulation of the profession of a successful student.
The act also grants permit to state authorities to establish medical institutions. The High Court mentioned that, as per Section 10A of the Indian Medical Council Act, the State administration before bringing up the diploma course should have notified or taken permission from the Central government.
As a result, the High Court views the Act as unconstitutional as it lacks presidential accent. The prime issue has been wether the Assam Health Regulatory Authority 2004 acts against the constitution and ultra vires the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956.
The introduction of Assam Rural Health Regulatory Authority Act 2004, was based on scarcity of qualified doctors who wants to engage in the rural areas. In order to fill up this gap, the state brought up this Act in 2004.
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