In July 2010, a court judgment by the Madras High Court held that those who are registered practitioners in Siddha, Ayurveda, Homeopathy and Unani are eligible to conduct surgery. It was held that these qualified practitioners can practice obstetrics, gynecology, anesthesiology, ENT and ophthalmology.
The court judgment pertained to a contempt of court petition filed by the Tamil Nadu Siddha Medical Graduates Association (TNSMGA). The petitioner appealed that Director-General of Police, Letika Saran, to be penalized for disobeying the High Court order passed in 2006.
The aforementioned order restrained the DGP from intervening with the professional practice of physicians who had valid registration and certification issued by the Tamil Nadu Siddha Medical Council. Such registered physicians are eligible to practice as Siddha Medical Practitioners, under the provisions of the Indian Medicine Central Council Act.
Following the order, the government’s Principal Secretary had conveyed this order to the DGP as it is applicable to Ayurvedic, Siddha and Unani doctors who are registered with the Tamil Nadu Board of Indian Medicine. It was also conveyed that they can practice their respective domains along with Allopathy medicine but they cannot practice Allopathy alone.
The TNSMGA’s advocate, S. Prabakaran, stated that the court’s order was violated, as several members of the TNSMGA were arrested, for prescribing allopathic drugs.
Justice F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla stated that the any action taken against the registered practitioners, of Siddha, Ayurveda, Homoeopathy and Unani, should be dropped immediately. While passing the order Justice Kalifulla, referred to the circular issued by the government, in consonance with the section 17(3) B, of the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970. The circular authorized institutionally qualified practitioners of Siddha, Ayurveda, Unani and Homeopathy to practice the respective systems, along with allopathic medicine.