The Bombay High Court in Indian Medical Association vs. State of Maharashtra, has made the rule absolute that private practices set up by medical practitioners are not be considered as ‘commercial establishments’.
The judgment delivered by a division bench comprising Justice Vasanti A Naik and Justice Indira Jain favoured the petitioner, in this case the IMA, that sought for a declaration that the establishments of individual medical practitioners and the medical practitioners working in partnership were not commercial establishments within the meaning of Section 2 (4) of the Bombay Shops and Establishments Act, 1948.
The association further sought for a declaration by the court that the inclusion of the term ‘medical practitioners’ in the definition of 'commercial establishments' in Section 2 (4) of the Act by amendment is violative of the provisions of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
The association reiterated previous decisions of the apex court in 1969 Mh.L.J. 391, whereby it was held that that the professional establishments of doctors do not fall within the ambit of the definition of 'commercial establishments' under the Bombay Shops and Establishments Act. The IMA also pointed out that the Bombay HC had followed this judgment in one of its previous judgments in case 1981 Mh.L.J. 635.
The IMA argued that the amendment brought in the Bombay Shops and Establishments Act was ultra vires and thus liable to be struck down, as a similar had been taken by the judiciary in previous cases.
The government’s counsel submitted that the judicial precedents laid down by the apex court and the HC were in favour of the petitioner IMA and the questions involved in the petition stood answered in favour of the association.
Thus, the court allowing the writ petition said:
“In fact, we find that the declarations, that are sought by the petitioner Association already stand granted by the judgments, that are rendered by the Hon’ble Supreme Court and this Court.”
The court made the rule absolute in terms of the prayer of the association and disposed of the petition.
Read the Judgment here.
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