Nurses Can Practice Their Profession Throughout The Territory Of India: SC [Read Order]

Nurses Can Practice Their Profession Throughout The Territory Of India: SC [Read Order]

“We, therefore, declare that consistent with their fundamental right under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India, to practice their occupation throughout the territory of India, legislation in the form of the Nursing Council Act of 1947 has not restricted nor does it purport to restrict their practice of nursing once a Degree or Diploma is granted by the State Authority to that State only.”,

The Supreme Court has observed that the Nursing Council Act of 1947 does not restrict the practice of nursing once a Degree or Diploma is granted by the State Authority to that State only.

The bench comprising Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice Navin Sinha declared thus while allowing special leave petition filed by Private Nursing Schools And Colleges Management Association against the Bombay High Court order.

The association had approached the High court seeking a declaration to the effect that the Indian Nursing Council does not have authority to grant recognition or affiliation and the authority vests with the State Nursing Council under the State Act. The High Court held that once the State Council grants recognition and/or affiliation and so far as Graduation and Post-Graduation courses are concerned, if Maharashtra University of Health Sciences grants affiliation and the State Council accords permission and issues letter of intent or permission, the Institution can offer training in Diploma or Degree Courses in Nursing and it is not mandatory for such Institutions to secure recognition/permission from Indian Nursing Council. But it added the following rider:

"It is imperative for such institutions, imparting training in nursing in Maharashtra State, (which have not been approved by the Indian Nursing Council), the State Council and Health University to publish on its website that the degrees and diploma awarded by such institutions shall have applicability only in the State and the candidates receiving such degree or diploma would be entitled to practice within the State only. The same shall also be mentioned in the diploma and degree certificates awarded by the institutions and the Universities in this regard and, the students shall be made known regarding this restriction by giving due publicity on the website while processing admissions to such institutions."

The Association approached the Apex court against this direction issued by the High court.

The bench, analysing the provisions of the Act, observed: "We may indicate that Section 14 deals with withdrawal of recognition which is a stage which has not yet been reached on the facts of this case. We, therefore, declare that consistent with their fundamental right under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India, to practice their occupation throughout the territory of India, legislation in the form of the Nursing Council Act of 1947 has not restricted nor does it purport to restrict their practice of nursing once a Degree or Diploma is granted by the State Authority to that State only."

Picture Courtesy: The Hindu

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