The Karnataka High Court has held that the nurses cannot be categorized as medical practitioners practicing medicine and the State Medical Council has no jurisdiction to take action against them.
Two nurses of a hospital had approached the High Court challenging the order of Karnataka Medical Council, holding them negligent while disposing a complaint filed by woman whose child died in the Hospital. The Medical Council concluded that the complainant has failed to prove negligence on the part of the doctors, but held that the nurses were negligent.
Before the High Court, it was contended that the nurses are not medical practitioners as contemplated under the provisions of the Karnataka Medical Registration Act
Referring to provisions of Karnataka Medical Registration Act, 1961 and Indian Medical Council's Act, 1956, Justice B. Veerappa said:
"In view of the aforesaid provisions, the nurses cannot be categorized as medical practitioners practicing medicine and the Karnataka Medical Council has no jurisdiction to take action against the nurses. If that is so, the impugned direction issued by the 2nd respondent directing 1st petitioner to take action is totally without jurisdiction."
While quashing the order passed by the Council, the Court also observed:
"Admittedly, petitioners 2 and 3 nurses are not themselves registered by applying to the Registrar giving description of the qualification. Therefore, they are not the medical practitioners and 2nd respondent [Council] has no jurisdiction to initiate any proceedings, question of issuing direction to the 1st petitioner [Medical Superintendent] would not arise. It is for the 1st petitioner to take appropriate action to control all the nurses, to provide good medical service to the patients, who come to the hospital with great expectation and to maintain the medical profession as divine profession."
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