Emphasizing the need of bringing in certain statutory changes in the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 and Rules 2003, and TS Allopathic Medical Care Establishments (Registration and Regulations) Act 2002 and Rules, 2007,, the Andhra High Court has observed that, as per the relevant provisions of the Acts, while the establishment and running a medical facility without licence is made punishable, the punishment is only by way of a fine, which is monitory in nature, which is hardly a deterrent in the present world for unscrupulous elements to establish and run ill-equipped fake hospitals.
Justice Challa Kodanda Ram also observed that in the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, while in Section 5(2) punishment is provided for a person carrying out termination of pregnancy by other than a registered practitioner, there is total absence of any provision dealing with a medical practitioner transgressing the provisions of the MTP Act and Rules.
The court was considering a writ plea of a hospital in which allegedly an illegal abortion took place and notice was issued to seize the hospital.
A plain reading of Section 8(2) of the TSAPMC Est. Act permits only seizure of equipment, articles or documents for the purpose of examination, analysis, investigation or evidence but not the hospital per se, the court observed.
Referring to relevant provisions, it said: “This court has no option, except to declare the seizure of the hospital as impermissible, and in those circumstances, there shall be a direction to the respondent authorities to remove the seals.”