Kerala High Court
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Kerala High Court: In a case filed concerning recurring violence against Doctors and Healthcare Professionals, a Division Bench of Devan Ramchandran and Edappagath JJ., directed that every Station House Officer concerned, to whom, or to whose Station, a complaint of atrocity or attack or harm on any Healthcare Professional be that doctors, nurses, staffs, security or such other, or against the property of a Hospital shall be recorded as a first information and a case registered within a period of one hour from the time on which such information is obtained or gathered.

The Court noted that unless a sense of fear of the law is instilled into the citizens, nothing can really change and experience has shown that citizens are not fearful of the law, but of apprehension in case of misconduct or infraction.

The Court expresses concern that the official system would function faultlessly and that the citizens would also be aware of the imperative requirement to treat the healthcare system with the respect it deserves.

The Court remarked that the fact that the Government Hospital System is overwhelmed and that the number of patients is escalating by the day is common knowledge and unless the doctors and healthcare professionals can act in peace and calm, it would become impossible for the system to sustain itself.

Thus, the Court directed that every incident of attack on a doctor or a Healthcare Professional, including any other staff of the Hospital – be Security or other – will have to be taken cognizance of by the Station House Officer of the Police Station concerned not later than one hour from the time on which it is reported to him. This can be under the Special Law applicable, or under the Penal Code, 1860; but an FIR will need to be registered within the afore time frame, which alone will ensure that the perpetrator/s understands that action is swift and quick.

The Court further directed that swift action thereafter should be initiated, including to apprehend the Offenders, as and when it requires so, leading to prosecution and such other, as the law warrants.

The Court further requested the Government of Kerala to ensure that the citizens are told, by appropriate methods, the gravity of the offence of an attack on a hospital or a Healthcare Personnel; and the way this Court proposes to deal with it in the future.

[Kerala Private Hospitals Association v. Sabu P Joseph, R.P. No. 379 of 2021, decided on 01-12-2022]

*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Kerala High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: The Division Bench comprising of S. Manikumar, CJ., and Shaji P. Chaly, J., asked the Union government if petrol and diesel should fall under GST regime, the Bench granted six weeks time to the Centre to decide the same.

The petitioner-Kerala Pradesh Gandhi Darshanvedi had filed the instant PIL the following reliefs:

  1. To issue a writ of mandamus or any other writ or order directing the Centre and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to include petrol and diesel under the GST regime.
  2. To issue a writ of mandamus or any other writ or order directing the GST Council to recommend the inclusion of petrol and diesel under the GST regime so as to achieve a harmonized national market as contemplated under Article 279 A (6) of the Constitution of India.
  3. To declare that the non-inclusion of petrol and diesel under the GST regime was violative of Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

The petitioner had also submitted a representation to the Government of Kerala to request the GST Council to include the petrol and diesel in the GST regime and had also proposed that till a decision is taken by the GST Council, the Government of Kerala may refrain from levying the state tax on petrol and diesel.

However, the stand taken by the Centre government and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas was that inclusion or deletion of GST is a policy decision. Adopting the same line of argument, and placing reliance on the decision in Union of India v. Shiyaad, W.A.No.2061 of 2017, the GST Council submitted that a no mandamus can be issued to the GST Council to take any decision and that the Union government is the competent authority to take a decision on the above said issue.

In the light of the above, the Bench directed the GST Council to forward the representation made by the petitioner to the Centre government. Similarly, the Centre government was asked to take an appropriate decision within a period of six weeks.[Kerala Pradesh Gandhi Darshanvedhi v. Union of India, 2021 SCC OnLine Ker 2778, decided on 21-06-2021]

Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Appearance before the Court by:

For the Petitioner: Adv. Arun B. Varghese and Adv. Aiswarya V.S.

For the Respondents: ASG P.Vijaykumar, Sr. Counsel P.R.Sreejith, SPL GP Gopikrishnan Nambiar