29 Aug 2023 9:59 AM GMT
The Calcutta High Court has directed the State government to probe the allegations levelled against practice of medicine by a fake doctor in West Bengal. It added that though it had come to light that the PIL petitioner lacked bona fides, the direction was issued by the Court in public interest and will subsist.Noting that the litigant had not disclosed in the petition that he was the...
The Calcutta High Court has directed the State government to probe the allegations levelled against practice of medicine by a fake doctor in West Bengal. It added that though it had come to light that the PIL petitioner lacked bona fides, the direction was issued by the Court in public interest and will subsist.
Noting that the litigant had not disclosed in the petition that he was the alleged fake doctor's (respondent) brother and had already lost in a civil suit against him, a division-bench of Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharya opined:
“After the order has been dictated, it is submitted that this PIL lacks bona fide since the petitioner is the respondent’s brother, and having been unsuccessful in the civil litigation has filed this PIL. In the petition, there is no disclosure of his relationship with the respondent or the civil litigation between the parties. We find that the this is not a bona fide PIL. However, our direction (for State authorities to probe into matter) is keeping in mind the health of the general public, who should not be misled and cheated by being treated by someone unqualified. However, due to the non-disclosure of the petitioner, and in deprecating his conduct, we impose a cost of Rs 10,000.”
The PIL challenged the conduct of private respondent who was alleged to be a ‘fake doctor’ practising medicine in the state of West Bengal, when he only had a license to practise homeopathic medicine in Nagaland. Petitioner submitted that the respondent had wrongly treated many patients in his local area, and many had needlessly suffered due to his mistreatments.
On the other hand, the respondent claimed he had a registration certificate in Unani traditional medicine, which allowed him to practise in West Bengal as well.
The Bench disposed of the matter by directing the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Hooghly, to look into the matter by issuing notice and verifying the claims made by the petitioner in consultation with the Council for Unani medicine.
After the order was dictated, the respondent raised an objection that the petitioner was not a bona fide public interest litigant, since he was the respondent’s brother, and had already lost in a civil suit which had been filed earlier, on a similar cause of action.
In taking note of these submissions, the bench imposed a cost of Rs 10,000 on the petitioner, payable to the State Legal Services Authority and noted that thought the litigant was not genuine, the directions issued were for maintaining the health and safety of the citizens.
Case: Debabrata Chakraborti @ Debabrata Chakraborty Vs State Of West Bengal And Ors.
Coram: Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharya
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Cal) 247