Shardul Nautiyal, Mumbai Monday, May 19, 2014, 08:00 Hrs [IST]
Even though the Union health ministry has clarified time and again that electropathy is not recognised as a system of medicine, over 2 lakh electropathy practitioners are a part of this system in the country and over 150 colleges across the country are offering courses in electropathy, it is learnt. Electropathy is a derivative of homoeopathy that relies on remedies from non-poisonous plants. Over 150 colleges across the country are offering courses in electropathy, with the most widely pursued one being Bachelor of Electropathy Medicine and Surgery (BEMS), which has a course duration of four and a half years.
The Union health ministry has recently clarified in response to an RTI application filed by health advocacy group Chikitsasansar Trust that electropathy is not recognised as a system of medicine because the ministry does not support its clinical practice by any person as the concerned Bill is still under consideration of Indian Parliament. In its RTI application, filed on April 7, 2014, the Chikitsasansar Trust has contested that absence of any government regulation has led to widespread quackery across the country.
While contesting the issue of recognition of electro homoeopathy which has come up before various high courts, its practitioners say that no law has banned its practice and they are entitled to engage in a profession as guaranteed by the Constitution. The right of Electro Homoeopathic Practitioners are well protected under article 19(1)(g) of Constitution of India. Informs Ashok Khandelwal from Chikitsasansar Trust," There are over 2 lakh electropaths working in an unregulated manner because there is no Act in place. As such it does not come under the purview of either of the central or state government's medical Act. This can have a bearing on the patient safety as quacks are practicing it in several villages of the country. The recognition of this system is under consideration in Parliament in the form of a bill since 2005."
According to a notification 14015/25/96-U&H (R) (pt), electro homoeopathic practitioner is not permitted to practice but the notification was challenged through a writ petition filed in 2008 in the Punjab and Haryana High court and the verdict was that practice of Electropathy/Electro homoeopathy is not prohibited in any state of India. For practicing modern medicine or any other Indian system of medicine like Ayurveda/Unani systems of medicine, registration is required under Medical Council Act. For getting these registrations, the applicants should also possess the prescribed qualifications also. But electro homoeopathy is an entirely different system of medicine. Its practice is not controlled by any state in India. It is not prohibited by any law also. Therefore, the petitioners have a fundamental right under article (19) (1) (g) of the constitution of India to proceed with the practice of the electro homoeopathy. Doctors can practice electro homoeopathy by settled law of the Government of India which means law allowed. Supreme Court of India and Medical Council of India have declared on February 14, 2003 that those who are having Community Medical Science Certificate (CMS) or Rural medical practitioner (RMP) can do Practice on 42 drug groups of life saving drugs in Allopath. Metropolitan Session Court Secunderabad recognised the Electro Homoeopathy Practice on 16 May 2001.The court also ordered that “Any council in India has no right to interfere in the Practice." Metropolitan Court, Secunderabad recognised the practice of electro homoeopathy on October 23, 2000. Calcutta High Court recognised the electro homoeopathy on May 7, 1999. High Court of Jabalpur recognised the electro homoeopathy practice on March 19, 1999. Madras High Court on June 9 1998 had given the Judgment regarding using the word Doctor before the name that, “Those who are practicing electro homoeopathy system of medicine has right to ‘USE’ the word “DOCTOR” before the name, by representing the symbol of “EH” (electro homoeopathic).