[Fitness Certificates for Drivers' License] Delhi High Court grants time to Delhi Govt for corrections on SARTHI software to accept Unani, Ayurveda certificates

  • Shaheen Parween
  • 01:05 PM, 15 Sep 2021

The Delhi High Court today granted time to the Delhi Government to make necessary corrections on the SARTHI software to make necessary corrections for acceptance of  medical fitness certificates issued by Ayurveda and Unani practitioners for online registration and renewal of driving licenses.

The court was informed that the error has been corrected on the website and now instead of a certificate from an MBBS Doctor, now certificates of fitness issued by "medical practitioners" will be accepted.

Adv Tanya Aggarwal appearing for petitioner however submitted that necessary corrections have not been made in some parts of the portal. The single judge bench of Justice Rekha Palli after hearing the parties, granted time to the Government till Sep 23 to make these necessary corrections on the portal.

The plea filed by the Integrated Medical Association (AYUS), states that, "Non-acceptance of medical certificates issued by the Practitioners of Indian System of Medicine is a sheer violation of fundamental right under Articles 19(1) (g), 14 and 21 as guaranteed by the Constitution of India.”

 According to Section 8(3) Motor Vehicle Act, “Every application under sub-section (1) for grant of Learner license shall be accompanied by a medical certificate in such form as may be prescribed by the Central Government and signed by such registered medical practitioner, as the State Government or any person authorised in this behalf by the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint for this purpose.”

 

According, to the petition till February 2021 the Practitioners of Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, and Sowa-Rigpa Systems of Medicine were authorized to issue medical certificates for the purposes of Fitness Certificate for registration/renewal of Driving Licenses, but from March 2021 the Respondents have made some changes in its software (SARTHI) wherein it is now mentioned that the medical fitness certificate should be issued by MBBS degree-holding doctors only.

“The practice by practitioners of the Indian System of Medicine is regulated by the Central Council of Indian Medicine, a statutory body constituted under the Act of Parliament under the Indian Medicine Central Council (IMCC) Act 1970,” stated the counsel.

It must be noted that the IMCC authorizes the registered practitioners of the Indian System of Medicine (Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, and Sowa-Rigpa Systems of Medicine) to issue the certificate of medical fitness along with all other certificates for all necessary purposes including Fitness Certificate for registration/ renewal of driving licenses.

The petitioner, Integrated Medical Association (AYUS), is a duly registered national organization of institutionally qualified doctors of the Indian System of Medicine since 1988 and was previously known as All India Indian Medicine Graduates Association which has a large number of ayurvedic doctors as members from all across the country.

The counsel urged the Bench for the following reliefs -

  • To pass an appropriate writ, order, or direction to the Respondents to correct and modify the (SARTHI) software of the Transport Department
  • To allow the Practitioners of the Indian System of Medicine (Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Sowa-Rigpa Systems of Medicine) to issue a certificate of medical fitness for the purposes of registration/renewal of driving licenses.
  • To pass an appropriate direction not to discriminate against the practitioners of Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, and Sowa-Rigpa Systems of Medicine with the MBBS degree holders in issuing the medical fitness certificates.

The plea further averred that the uploaded (SARTHI) software of the Transport Department mentions practitioners holding only MBBS degree eligible to issue such a certificate which is a clear violation of law, rules, and regulations and discrimination against practitioners of the Indian System of Medicine (Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Sowa - Rigpa Systems of Medicine) and as such depriving them of their valuable statutory right because of the anomaly created by the SARTHI software of the Transport Department.

“As a result, the Zonal Offices of the Transport Department are now not accepting medical fitness certificates issued by the Practitioners of the Indian System of Medicine online,” stated the petition.

Case title: Integrated Medical Association (AYUS) v. GNCTD