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Driving Licenses: High Court Seeks Centre, Delhi Govt's Reply Over Non-Acceptance Of Fitness Certificates Issued By Ayurveda Practitioners

Akshita Saxena
26 Aug 2021 6:30 AM GMT
Driving Licenses: High Court Seeks Centre, Delhi Govts Reply Over Non-Acceptance Of Fitness Certificates Issued By Ayurveda Practitioners
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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Central Government as well as the Delhi Government to file their replies on a plea challenging non-acceptance of medical fitness certificates issued by Ayurvedic and Unani practitioners for online registration or renewal of driving licenses, even though such certificates are accepted offline.Justice Rekha Palli, while hearing a plea moved by...

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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Central Government as well as the Delhi Government to file their replies on a plea challenging non-acceptance of medical fitness certificates issued by Ayurvedic and Unani practitioners for online registration or renewal of driving licenses, even though such certificates are accepted offline.

Justice Rekha Palli, while hearing a plea moved by an association of Ayurveda and Unani practitioners, told ASG Chetan Sharma,

"They are allowed under the scheme for giving fitness certificates for motor vehicles. Now you developed a software saying that only persons with MBBS qualifications can grant. If you amend the rules, it's different but otherwise, how can you have such a software? Offline it is being accepted, online they are not permitted. How can this be?"

Section 8 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 mandate the production of a 'medical fitness certificate' alongwith every application for obtaining driving license.

The petitioner organization had claimed that the National Informatics Centre, at the instructions of Road & Transport Ministry, has developed a software namely 'Sarathi'. This software, it is alleged, only accepts certificates issued by practitioners holding a MBBS degree thus excluding thousands of Ayurveda and Unani practitioners.

At the outset, the Bench observed that as long as the statute mentions that the petitioners have the power to issue certificates, a prima facie case in their favour is made out.

"Prima facie, what you are saying is correct.. It (software) could be a mistake, an inadvertent error" the judge said.

"That is why we have limited our prayer to modification of the software," Petitioner's counsel Tanya Agarwal responded.

The petition stated that practitioners of Indian System of Medicine including Ayurveda and Unani practitioners all across the country are entitled to issue certificates for all necessary purposes including Fitness Certificate for registration/renewal of Driving Licenses and till recently the Zonal Offices of the Transport Department have been accepting Medical Fitness Certificates issued by them.

However recently, the uploaded (SARTHI) software of the Transport Department mentions practitioners holding only MBBS degree eligible to issue such a certificate which is a clear violation of law, rules and regulations and a discrimination against the petitioners and as such depriving them from their valuable statutory right.

"Non-acceptance of medical certificates issued by the Practitioners of Indian System of Medicine is a sheer violation of fundamental right under Articles 19(1)(g), 14 and 21 as guaranteed by the Constitution of India," the plea states.

Case Title: Integrated Medical Association (AYUS) v. GNCTD

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