Is Clinic or Private Practice of surgeon or doctor comes under commercial activity?
Private clinics aren’t commercial activity: Bombay High court
A land mark judgment held by Bombay High Court, that a clinic operated by a private doctor or their partnership firm can’t come under the definition of “commercial establishment” Under Shops and Establishment Act, 1948.
The judgment is with response to the petition filed by Indian Medical Association for striking out “medical practitioners” from the definition of “commercial establishment”. Indian medical association submitted that the inclusion of the term “medical practitioners” in the definition of “commercial establishment” in section 2(4) of Shops and Establishment Act, 1948 by amendment violates the provision of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
Shops and Establishment Act, 1948, came into force from 11th January 1948. The primary motto of the Act was to protect the interest of the employees. The Act is applicable for all commercial establishments, involved in transfer of goods and services. The purview of the Act extends to shop, commercial establishment, hotels, theaters or any other establishment. Article 14 of the constitution of India guarantees equality before law.
India medical association was of the rationale that doctors aren’t involved in commercial activity of exchanging goods and services. Medical practitioners provide medical service and assistance, which can’t be termed as “commercial”. Private or partnership clinics receive fees from the patients and not salary. Apart from this, medical practitioners are professional service providers, who are regulated by exclusive and statutory laws and strictly monitored by Medical Council of India. IMA also brought to the notice of previous judgments by High Court of Bombay and Supreme Court on various instances, which declared that clinics can’t be termed as commercial establishment.
The judgment is appreciated by many medical practitioners. This move also specifies that clinics need not pay power or electricity charges at commercial rates, which heavily cuts down the operation cost.
Source: Times of India
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