BAMS doctors not entitled to equal pay as MBBS doctors: Supreme Court division bench upholds order


New Delhi: The Supreme Court recently dismissed the review petitions that were filed against its earlier judgment holding that Ayurveda doctors are not entitled to equal pay as Allopathic doctors.

A Division bench of the Apex Court comprising Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal held that there was no error in the earlier judgment and there was also no ground for review.

Therefore, rejecting the plea, the bench noted, “We have perused the Judgment and Order dated 26th April 2023 which has been sought to be reviewed. There is no error apparent on the record. Even otherwise, there is no ground for review.”

“The review petitions are dismissed in terms of the signed order. Pending applications also stand disposed of,” further mentioned the order.

Medical Officers’ (Ayurved) Association and certain individuals filed the review petitions against the April 26 order by a two-judge bench comprising Justice V. Ramasubramanian and Justice Pankaj Mithal.

Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that in the concerned judgment dating back to April 2023, the Apex Court bench of Justices V. Ramasubramanian and Pankaj Mithal set aside the Gujarat High Court order which had held that Ayurveda practitioners should be treated at par with doctors with MBBS degrees.

Referring to the difference in workload between the Ayurveda practitioners and the allopathic doctors, the Supreme Court bench had opined that the Ayurveda practitioners were not entitled to equal pay with the practitioners of modern medicine.

Back then, the top court bench had referred to the fact that allopathic practitioners deal with a greater number of patients, perform emergency duties and complicated surgeries, as opposed to the Ayurveda practitioners.

“Allopathy doctors are required to perform emergency duties and to provide trauma care. By the very nature of the science that they practice and with the advancement of science and modern medical technology, the emergency duty that Allopathy doctors are capable of performing and the trauma care that they are capable of providing, cannot be performed by Ayurved doctors. It is also not possible for Ayurved doctors to assist surgeons performing complicated surgeries, while MBBS doctors can assist,” the bench had observed.

Also Read: Ayurveda doctors do not perform complicated surgeries, not entitled to equal pay as MBBS doctors: Supreme Court

However, the bench had also clarified that it does not mean that one system of medicine is superior to other. At this outset, the bench noted, “We shall not be understood to mean as though one system of medicine is superior to the other. It is not our mandate nor within our competence to assess the relative merits of these two systems of medical sciences. As a matter of fact, we are conscious that the history of Ayurveda dates back to several centuries.”

After discussing the history of Ayurveda, the bench further observed, “Therefore, we have no doubt that every alternative system of medicine may have its pride of place in history.”

“But today, the practitioners of indigenous systems of medicine do not perform complicated surgical operations. A study of Ayurved does not authorise them to perform these surgeries,” it had further noted.

“Therefore, even while recognizing the importance of Ayurved doctors and the need to promote alternative/indigenous systems of medicine, we cannot be oblivious of the fact that both categories of doctors are certainly not performing equal work to be entitled to equal pay. Hence, Issue No.2 has to be answered in favour of the appellant-State and against the respondents,” the apex court bench had clarified in its judgment.

However, challenging this decision, the Medical Officers’ (Ayurved) Association and other individuals filed review petitions before the Apex Court.

As per the latest media report by Live Law, while considering the matter, a bench comprising Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal rejected the review petitions and observed,

“We have perused the Judgment and Order dated 26th April 2023 which has been sought to be reviewed. There is no error apparent on the record. Even otherwise, there is no ground for review.”

The National Commission for Indian System for Medicine had also filed a plea and sought a modification of the April 26 order. Previously, the order was also challenged by Medical Officers Association (Ayurveda), State of Gujarat.

However, previously the Supreme Court bench refused to entertain applications that sought withdrawal of its earlier judgment. At that time, the top court bench comprising Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal had kept the option of filing a review petition against the decision open.

Also Read: Ayurveda doctors not entitled to equal pay as allopathy doctors: SC junks appeal seeking withdrawal of earlier order



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