The supreme court in the State of Gujarat and ors etc v/s Doctor PA Bhatt and ors etc held that the allopathy doctors and doctors of indigenous medicines cannot be said to be performing equal work to entitle them to equal pay.
The court noted that the Ayurveda doctors are not capable of performing what allopathy doctors are and the trauma care that is given by allopathy doctors cannot be performed by Ayurveda doctors.
The bench noted that Ayurveda doctors can assist surgeons in performing complicated surgeries while MBS doctors can do the same.
In this respect the court clarified that the bench must not be understood as meaning one system of medicine is superior to another; it is not our mandate nor within our competence to assess the relative merits of these two systems of Medical Sciences.
Therefore we have no doubt that every alternative system of medicine may have its place and pride in history but today the practitioners of the indigenous system of medicine do not perform complicated surgical operations therefore a study of Ayurveda does not authorize them to perform these surgeries.
The court observed that the presence of Ayurveda doctors is not required in postmortem or autopsy during opd in general hospitals in cities and towns and MBBS doctors are made to attend to hundreds of patients which is not the case with Ayurveda doctors.
Justice V Subramanian and Justice Pankaj Mittal, therefore set aside the Gujarat High Court order that held that practitioners possessing a degree of bachelor of Ayurveda medicine and surgery uh to be treated equally with doctors holding MBBS degrees and be entitled to benefits recommended by the tikku Pay committee.
The R K Tikku committee was constituted to improve the prospects of doctors in government service however it was limited to doctors holding MBBS degrees, postgraduate medical degrees, super specialty degrees and those on teaching and non-teaching sides.
In 1999 the state health and family welfare department clarified that the recommendations of the Tikku committee are also extended to doctors working under the employee state insurance scheme & the respondents here were appointed on an Ad hoc basis under the community health volunteer medical officer scheme of union government filed petitions before the Gujarat High Court seeking extension of the benefit of higher scales of pay based on recommendations of tikku Pay Commission.
The single judge of the High Court allowed the petitions in response the state government filed an appeal before the division bench the appeal is pending and the Gujarat government also withdrew its 1999 resolution.
The division bench upheld the order of the single judge.
The issue before the supreme court-
Now the issue before the Supreme Court was whether different scales of pay can be fixed for officers appointed to the same cadre on the basis of educational qualifications acquired by them? and whether the allopathy doctors and doctors of indigenous medicine perform equal work to entitle them to equal pay.
The court held-
The court observed that the first issue is no longer res Integra and referred to relevant decisions of the apex court and held that the classification based on educational qualification is not violative of articles 14 and 16 of the constitution.
And with respect to the second issue the court held that the allopathy doctors and doctors of indigenous medicine cannot be said to be performing equal work to entitle them to equal pay.