Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee
In the matter titled as “All India Ophthalmological Society through its President versus Union of India & Others, WP© No. 12057/2018” vide order dated 09.01.2019, the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi has stayed the operation of the letter dated 01.06.2018 issued by the Union of India to all Principal Secretary Health of All States / UTs to take necessary steps to implement the proposal of registration of all units, which use ultrasound machines for ophthalmology, echocardiography, urology and others under Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994 .
Facts of the case
- The petitioner no.1 (All India Ophthalmological Society) is a registered society and is an association of about 21000 Ophthalmologists across India. Members of the petitioner’s society specialise in eye surgeries such as cataract surgeries and in this process use of ultrasound imaging machines, which have a scanning frequency of about 10 Mhz and a penetration depth of about 60mm.
- The petitioners have filed the present petition, inter alia, impugning a letter dated 01.06.2018 whereby respondent no.1 has directed the Principal Secretary Health of All States/UTs to take necessary steps to implement the proposal for registration of all units, which use ultrasound machines for ophthalmology, echocardiography, urology an others under Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994 (hereafter ‘the Act’). This is premised on the basis that the such machines are also capable of being modified to determine the sex of a foetus.
iii. The said instructions are without jurisdiction and beyond the scope of the Act.
- The petitioner’s contention was that Section 18 (5) of the Act, which expressly provides that no genetic Counselling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic shall be registered unless the Appropriate Authority is satisfied that such Centre, Laboratory or Clinic is in a position to provide such facilities and maintain such equipment and standards as may be prescribed. In view of the above provisions Ophthalmologist clinics cannot be registered under Section 18 of the Act as they does not maintain the standards as required of a Genetic Counselling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic.
Order of the Hon’ble High Court
After hearing all the contentions of the petitioners, the Hon’ble High Court held that there is merit in the contentions of the petitioners and issued notice to all the other parties in the case.
Also, in the meanwhile the Hon’ble Court has stayed the operation of the letter dated 01.06.2018 till the next date of hearing on 27.7.2019.
Other judgments relating to PCPNDT Act
Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee
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The study is published online Jan. 7, 2019 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
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