SC rejects plea to bring doctors, healthcare services under Consumer law

Last Updated 29 April 2022, 13:32 IST

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a plea against bringing doctors and healthcare services within the ambit of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Hima Kohli dismissed the petition filed by 'Medicos Legal Action Group' against the Bombay High Court's October 2021 judgement which had junked its plea.

Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that in the 1986 law there was no mention of healthcare in the definition of "services".

Though there was a proposal to include it under the new Act, it was eventually dropped.

"The definition of "Service" is wide enough under the Act. If the Parliament wanted to exclude, they would have said it expressly," the bench said.

The counsel, however, referred to a parliamentary debate on the Bill, 2018.

"The reason why healthcare was deleted because the definition of the expression of service was wide enough. The Minister's speech in the house cannot restrict the ambit of the Act. Your clients committed a self-goal. In some consumer negligence cases against the doctor, they were prompted to file the PIL. They are all motivated PILs," the bench said.

The court confirmed the high court's judgement but granted four more weeks to the petitioner to deposit Rs 50,000 cost.

(Published 29 April 2022, 13:32 IST)

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