Mumbai: The Bombay high court has stayed the application of the Shop and Establishment Act, 2017
with respect to medical practitioners. The Act makes it mandatory for all professionals which include medical practitioners, lawyers, CAs, among others to be registered with the authority before November 5, 2017.
The mandatory registration for medical professionals was stayed after the Indian Medical Association sought exemption on the grounds that their services were not commercial activities and hence did not come under the ambit of the Shop and Establishment Act. In light of the stay, medical practitioners will be safe from prosecution for not registering with the authority after the November 5 deadline.
A division bench of justices S.S. Kemkar and G.S. Kulkarni was hearing a writ petition filed by Indian Medical Association (IMA) challenging the applicability and implementation of the Maharashtra Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 2017. Counsels for IMA, Manasvi Tilwani and Ketan Chothani referred to a previous order of the Supreme Court, which had struck down the inclusion of professionals under the Act by the government.
According to the Act, professionals and their establishments, employing more than 10 employees have to register themselves by November 5, 2017, failing which they will face prosecution before a criminal court.
During the hearing of the case, the IMA recalled the example cited by the apex court which said that the medical practitioner offered services in their individual capacity and not with the assistance of anyone else like in the case of businesses.
Hence, medical practitioners do not come under the ambit of shops and establishments.