The Delhi Police has informed the High Court that “proactive approach” with cooperation from medical bodies was required to tackle the issue of quacks and fake doctors operating in the city. According to police, beat constables have been directed to keep an eye on such activities in areas under their jurisdiction, and alert the medical council of suspected quacks in the area.
The submissions were made by Additional Solicitor General Sidharth Luthra in response to a High Court notice. The notice was sent after a man, convicted of causing the death of a woman during an illegal abortion, had filed an appeal in court. The man who was a compounder in the clinic had been sentenced to five years of imprisonment under Section 314 for causing death of a woman by an act intended to cause miscarriage.
Noting the seriousness of the issue, the court of Justice J S Midha had last month sent a notice to the Delhi Police. Notices were also sent to Medical Council of India, Delhi Medical Council (DMC) and other medical bodies, asking them to come up with ways to deal with the problem.
In its reply, police said under the provisions of the Delhi Medical Council Act, any cognisance of such cases could only be taken on a complaint by the Delhi Medical Council. According to a circular submitted to the court by ASG Luthra, police have directed all SHOs to “adequately brief the division/beat staff to gather information about quacks proactively”.
Police also submitted that under the DMC Act, all doctors were required to display their registration numbers on a board outside clinics.
During the hearing, the court also observed that police could consider concentrating “on the areas with populations of the poor as the quacks tend to dupe those people”.
The court has now issued a notice to Medical Council of India, Central Council for Indian Medicine, Delhi Medical Council, Bhartiya Chikitsa Parishad, Board of Homeopathic system of Medicine, Delhi State Dental Council and Delhi Council for Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy to respond to the issue.