Case Title: State of Gujarat & Ors. Etc. Vs. Dr. P. A. Bhatt & Ors
Justice V.Ramasubramanian,J. of the honorable Supreme Court has set aside the Gujarat High court’s judgment, and concluded that ayurveda doctors or for that matter any AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) doctors are not equivalent to those doctors who are holding MBBS degree.
Here, the applicants were state of Gujarat & ors. who challenged the Gujarat high court’s judgment which was in favour of ayurveda doctors for equal pay as MBBS doctors. Respondents had argued that both kind of medical officers are selected under same cadre and even discharge similar duties which are interchangeable for both kind of doctors and therefore ayurvedic (and AYUSH) doctors are entitled to equal pay as MBBS degree holder doctors.
Applicant argued that though both kind of doctors sometimes discharge same duties they aren’t equivalent. For example the compounders also do dressing on wounds but they cannot be called equivalent to the doctors who does the same job. Similarly, here the MBBS degree holding doctors are qualified and trained for emergency trauma treatment and OPDs. They are qualified for performing surgery and to assist specialized doctors in operation theaters. Whereas, AYUSH doctors are not trained or qualified for emergency treatment, OPDs or surgeries.
The Apex court was of the view that, in rendering professions the principle of similar pay for similar job is not applicable. As in legal profession, senior advocate and junior advocate, get different fees for representing the same case, It is justified that more qualified and experienced professionals attracts higher pay.
Although, the Apex court has appreciated the field of aayurveda, its rich history and achievements in the judgment at length, the apex court set aside the Gujarat High court judgment and issued a judgment in favour of the applicants, permitting higher pay-scale to doctors holding MBBS degrees.