12 Sep 2023 2:09 PM GMT
The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to entertain applications seeking recall of its judgment delivered on April 26, 2023, which held that Ayurved doctors cannot claim equal pay as Allopathy doctors. However, the Court has left open the remedy of filing a review petition against the judgment.The Court also deferred the hearing of an application filed by the National Commission for Indian...
The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to entertain applications seeking recall of its judgment delivered on April 26, 2023, which held that Ayurved doctors cannot claim equal pay as Allopathy doctors. However, the Court has left open the remedy of filing a review petition against the judgment.
The Court also deferred the hearing of an application filed by the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM) seeking modification of the judgment till the final disposal of the review petition.
“The Miscellaneous Application No. 26128/2023(National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM) will await the decision of the review petition. It's also open for them to file a review petition if advised", the Court observed.
Further, the Court allowed the Medical Officers Association(Ayurveda) Gujarat to withdraw its writ petition on the ground that a review petition against the judgment is pending.
Addressing another set of applications by Ayurvedic practitioners seeking modification of the judgment, the bench comprising Justices Abhay S. Oka and Justice Pankaj Mithal observed, “Coming to MA-25599 of 2023, it's not in dispute that applicants have filed a petition for review of order dated 26th April 2023. It is an admitted position that most of the applicants in this application were parties to Civil Appeal no 8553-8557 of 2014. As applicants have filed a review petition, we decline to entertain this application and the same is disposed of. We however make it clear that as far as the issue of recovery is concerned, the remedy of those who were not parties to civil appeal will remain open. Disposal will not affect the merits of the review petitions filed by applicants".
At the outset, Attorney General for India, R Venkataramani, representing the NCISM expressed concerns regarding certain observations in the judgment.
Justice Abhay S. Oka raised the question- “If we grant relief, it'll run contrary to the judgment which you've annexed. Propriety demands that we should not hear this till the review is decided.”
The bench then inquired about the filing of a review, to which the Attorney General clarified that the institution had not filed a review since it was not a party in the main proceeding.
The bench suggested, “Ultimately it comes to review. We’ll simply say that this will be listed after the review is heard. You may apply for clubbing this petition there.”
Thereafter, a modification application(Miscellaneous Application Diary No-25599 of 2023) filed by Ayurvedic doctors who had retired in 2008 was discussed.
Justice Abhay S. Oka expressed reservations about entertaining the modification request. He asked, “How can you apply? You’re coming up with a modification. We have a fundamental objection to this modification. You feel you have no case in the review, then you come up with modification. We’ll not entertain this application. This practice must stop. You apply for modification of a concluded judgment like this?”
In response, Senior Advocate Guru Krishna Kumar S., representing the petitioners argued that assuming the judgment was final and the review was not entertained, they were proceeding with a modification request based on three grounds.
Justice Abhay S. Oka clarified, “On principles, something which can be done in review we’ll not do in modification.”
The senior counsel pointed out that a review had been filed, prompting Justice Oka to inquire about the parties involved.
He replied, “They are 56 persons Ayurvedic doctors who were in service, they’ve retired in 2008.”
The bench enquired “Were they before the court when the judgment was given?”
The Counsel responded in the affirmative. The bench raised concerns about their eligibility to apply for a modification stating, “That’s the problem. How can they apply for modification? Somebody who was not there, we can understand.”
The senior lawyer suggested that the matter be kept along with the ongoing review.
Moving forward, Sr. Adv. Mr. S.P. Singh, representing the Medical Officers Association, sought to address concerns in the judgment.
The bench questioned, “What you want is a review in the garb of Article 32 petition, then we’ll dismiss it.”
The counsel offered to withdraw their application if the review petition was heard, but Justice Oka insisted that “No it can't be conditional.”
Thereafter, the counsel requested the bench that “I want to withdraw it.”
Case title: Medical Officers Association (Ayurveda) State Of Gujarat v. Union Of India
Citation: W.P.(C) No. 723/2023 and connected matters
For Petitioner(s)- Mr. S.P. Singh, Sr. Adv. along with AOR Mrs. Revathy Raghavan Mr. C. Kannan, Adv. Ms. Divya Singhvi, Adv
Mr. R. Venkataramani, AG for India along with AOR Ms. Ankita Chaudhary, Adv. Mr. Shreyas Balaji, Adv. Mr. Kartikay AggarwalMr. Guru Krishna Kumar S., Sr. Adv. along with AOR Mr. Nachiketa Joshi, Adv. Ms. Himadri Haksar, Adv. Mr. Abhishek Kansal, Adv. Ms. Sucheta Joshi
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