Mumbai, Oct 10 (UNI) The Bombay High Court today directed the Maharashtra government to close down all pathology labs run independently by persons holding Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology (DMLT) or equivalent qualifications throughout the state.
The net result of this order will be the closure of more than 3500 pathology labs throughout the state.
The direction came on a public interest litigation filed by five pathologists, hailing from different places in the state, who have raised concern over people holding DMLT and equivalent qualifications, running pathology labs independently.
The petition has also challenged state government's decision of October, 2001 granting permissions to such people to run pathology labs independently.
The petitioners contended that DMLT and similar qualifications were neither recognised by the Maharashtra Medical Council nor by the all India body, Medical Council of India, and therefore, these people were not entitled to run pathology labs and certify reports.
Both the controlling bodies supported the petitioner's contention in the court. The state body fairly conceded that it did not maintain any register for such qualifications. Whereas, the MCI took a stand that DMLT and similar other qualifications were not recognised by it and people with such qualifications were not entitled to run the labs. However, they could act as technicians in pathology labs, it said.
Considering stand taken by both these bodies, a division bench comprising Justices J N Patel and Amjad Sayyad admitted the petition for final hearing and directed the state to close down all pathology labs in the state, run independently by people holding DMLT and equivalent qualifications.
The court also stayed the state government's decision allowing such persons to run pathology labs on their own, taking a stand that they were not specifically barred by the MCI.