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Suresh Yadav & Others v/s The Registrar, Rajasthan Nursing Council & Others

    Civil Writ Petition No. 1393 of 1997

    Decided On, 11 August 1998

    At, High Court of Rajasthan Jaipur Bench

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE J.C. VERMA

    For the Appellants: G.K. Garg, Advocate. For the Respondents: R.K. Daga, Advocate.



Judgment Text

J.C. Verma, J.

1. The petitioners had completed their Nursing Training Course from Navodaya college of Nursing, Raichur (Karnataka) of the duration of three years from September 1992 to August 1995. They were registered with the Karnataka State Nursing Council, one of the copy of such registration is attached as Annexure-2. Annexure-4 is a certificate of registration by the Karnataka Nursing Council under the provisions of Karnataka Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act, 1961. They had also completed the diploma course in General Nursing and Midwiferies and, therefore, are qualified to undertake the duties of trained Nurse/midwife as per Annexure-5. After obtaining no objection certifi-cate from the Registrar, Karnataka State Nursing Council, they had applied for registration with the Rajasthan Nursing Council. They were so registered with the Rajasthan Nursing Council. The petitioners were employed in Rajasthan since June 1996 as Male Nurse-II and are working in hospitals. The Registrar, Rajasthan Nursing Council vide its order dated 24-2-1997 had cancelled the registration of the petitioner on the ground that the Secretary of the Indian Nursing Council vide its order dated 18-2-1996 and letter dated 6-2-1997 had informed that Navodaya School of Nursing, Raichur has not yet been recognised by the Rajasthan Nursing Council, The impugned action is alleged to have been taken u/s 18 of the Rajasthan Nurses, Midwives, Health, Visitors, Auxiliary Nurses, Midwives Registration Act, 1964. The petitioners are aggrieved against the order dated 24-2-1997 passed by the Regis

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trar, Rajasthan Nursing Council, copy of which is attached as Annexure-6 to the writ petition, saying that the Navodaya School of Nursing, Raichur, Karnataka has not been recognised by the Indian Nursing Council, New Delhi as informed by the Nursing Council, New Delhi vide their letter dated 18-12-1996 and 6-2-1997. Of course, no notice whatsoever was issued to the petitioners before passing the impugned order Annexure-6. Because of the reason that the matter related to the cancellation of the registration and the employees were under peril, the parties had requested that the case be decided at admission stage itself.

2. A common written statement was filed on behalf of the respondents Nos. 1 and 5. Even though the respondent No. 2 was properly served at New Delhi, initially no appearance was made by the State Nursing Council to defend its action for the reason that the impugned order was based on the command of the respondent No. 2. Indian Nursing Council did not make any appearance. Vide order dated 14-7-1998 it was directed that the record upon which the cancellation order has been passed should be produced before the Court. The case was adjourned to 28-7-1998. Indian Nursing Council still did not make any appearance on 28-7-1998 and, therefore, counsel for the Registrar, Rajasthan Nursing Council was directed to contact the Indian Nursing Council, New Delhi for production of the record. It was on 4-8-1998 that the Secretary of the Indian Nursing Council appeared in the Court and reply was filed by the Indian Nursing Council as well. It was surprising to note that despite the fact that Indian Nursing Council had directed for cancellation of registration and the civil rights of the petitioners were involved, but having been served Indian Nursing Council had not taken any effective steps to defend its case in support of the order impugned or to appear in the Court with the record. It was because of special efforts made by the parties that ultimately the Secretary of the Indian Nursing Council appeared in the Court. This state of affair on the part of the Indian Nursing Council in not appearing even on service when the rights of the petitioners' livelihood itself were involved, cannot be appreciated by the Court.

3. It is stated by the learned counsel for the parties that the respondent No. 1 had registered the names of the petitioners with the Rajasthan State Nursing Council u/s 13 of the Act. Karnataka Nursing Council was duly recognised by Indian Nursing Council which had issued the certificate, therefore, the Registrar could not have invoked the provisions u/s 18 of the Rajasthan Act. It is stated that Navodaya School of Nursing. Raichur (hereinafter called Raichur School) was duly recognised by the Karnataka State Nursing Council and, therefore, respondent No. 2-Indian Nursing Council had no jurisdiction at all for ordering the cancellation of the Registration of the petitioners and as such the impugned order Annexure-6 based on certain directions of the Indian Nursing Council could not have been passed at all u/s 18 of the Rajasthan Act and the impugned action is not sustainable.

4. Respondents Nos. 1 and 5 in their written statements had stated that because of the reason that they were informed by the Indian Nursing Council, New Delhi vide letter dated 18-12-1996 and 6-2-1997 that Navodaya School of Nursing, Raichur was not recognised, therefore, the respondents Nos. 1 and 5 were left with no option but to comply with the directions of the respondent No. 2. Even though certain defence has been taken by the State-respondent, but during the time of arguments Mr. Rastogi appearing for the Rajasthan Nursing Council had very fairly submitted that the registration has been cancelled by the impugned order at the command of the respondent No. 2. A letter dated 18-12-1996 had been placed as Annexure R-l/4 addressed to the Rajasthan Nursing Council to the effect that Navodaya School of Raichur has not been recognised by the Indian Nursing Council. So is the import of Annexure R-1/5, dated 8-1-1997. However, vide Annexure R-1/7, dated 18-3-1997 the respondent No. 2 had written to the Rajasthan Nursing Council, Jaipur that Raichur School had been now recognised by the Indian Nursing Council in the meeting held on 18th and 19th February, 1997 for G.N.M. Course. The result is that at present Raichur School from where the petitioners have passed the course stands recognised. Another letter dated 6-11-1997 along with the Additional Affidavit has been placed on record wherein the Indian Nursing Council, respondent No. 2 has stated that the Raichur School has been recognised from the retrospective date. The letter dated 3-3-1997 has also been placed on record which has been issued by the Karnataka State Nursing Council addressed to the Registrar, Rajasthan Nursing Council, Jaipur, stating therein that Karnataka State Nursing Council (hereinafter called the Kamataka Council) was duly recognised authority by the Indian Nursing Council at Sr. No. 59 for General Nursing and Serial No. 25 for Midwifery under Sections 10 and 11 of the Indian Nursing Council Act of 1947 (hereinafter called the Act of 1947). It was stated by the Kamataka Council that it is an authority recognised by the Indian Nursing Council. It was further stated that Raichur School was duly recognised by the Karnataka Council and, therefore, objection was taken by the Karnataka Council as well against the impugned action of the Rajasthan Council. Even Karnataka Council had informed the Indian Nursing Council of their illegality and the action taken without jurisdiction.

5. In the written statement filed by the re-spondent No. 2, it had been categorically stated para 3 mentioning that the Indian Nursing Coun-cil as per Section 10 of the Nursing Council Act 1947 has no authority to recognise the institution as per the provisions of Section 10 of the Act, as the Indian Nursing Council recognises the au-thorities and not the Schools. The authorities recognised by the Indian Nursing Council have been mentioned in Schedules I and II of the Act of 1947. However, there seems to be some correspondence between some of the officer of the Nursing Council, New Delhi about certain in sections and the letter written by one Shri A. S. Verma for which action was taken against Shri A. S.Verma, an employee of the Indian Nursing Council and it seems that because of certain letters written by Shri A. S. Verma, without going into the merits of the case, Indian Nursing Council straightway had informed the Rajasthan Nursing Council to cancel the registration. As a matter of fact the Indian Nursing Council does not recognise or de-recognise, nor it is their functions to recognise or de-recognise the institutions imparting training. u/s 10 of the Act of 1947, the Indian Nursing Council only recognises the authorities mentioned in Schedules I and II and the authorities mentioned in Schedules I and II recognises the institutions giving training i .e. it is State Council which ultimately recognises or de-recognises the institutions. However, any directions issued by the Indian Nursing Council are made applicable to the State Councils for compliance by the State Council.

6. Section 10 of the Act provides that for the purpose of the Act, qualification included in Part I of the Schedule shall be recognised qualification and the qualifications included in Part II of the Schedule shall be recognised higher qualifications. Any authority within the State which, being recognised by the State Government in consultation with State Council, if any, for the purpose of granting any qualification, grants, a qualification in general nursing, midwifery, auxiliary, nursing-midwifery, health visiting or public health nursing, not included in the Schedule may apply to the Council to have such qualification recognised etc. etc. Section 11 provides the effect of recognition. The relevant portions of Sections 10 and 11 are reproduced as under :

"10. Recognition of qualifications :-- (1) For the purposes of this Act, the qualifications included in Part I of the Schedule shall be recognised qualifications included in Part II of the Schedule shall be recognised higher qualifications."

"11. Effect of recognition :-- (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law :--

(a) any recognised qualification shall be a sufficient qualification for enrolment in any State register;

(b) no person shall, after the date of the commencement of this Act, be entitled to be enrolled in any State register as a nurse, midwife, auxiliary nurse-midwife, health visitor, or public health nurse unless he or she holds a recognised qualification :

Provided that any person already enrolled in any State register before the said date may continue to be so enrolled notwithstanding that he or she may not hold a recognised qualification :

Provided further that any person who was immediately before the said date entitled to be enrolled in any State Register but was not so enrolled shall, on application made in this behalf before the expiry of two years from the said date be entitled to be enrolled in that register :

(c) any person holding a recognised higher qualification shall be entitled to have the qualification entered as a supplementary qualification in any State register in which he or she is enrolled and after the said date no person shall be entitled to have entered as a supplementary qualification in any State register any qualification which is not a recognised higher qualification."

7. In Schedule I attached to the Act, the Board of Examiner appointed by the Government of Karnataka has been incorporated at Sr. No. 25 so far the issuance of the certificate diploma and degree in Midwiferies are concerned and an entry has been made at Sr. No. 59 in regard to the certificate, diploma and degrees in Nursing issued by any of the authorities mentioned in Schedule I and at entry No. 59 "Karnataka Institution" is mentioned. Meaning thereby that it is not disputed even it is admitted that the Kamataka institution was authorised to issue the certificate and in case the Karnataka institution had recognised the Raichur School of Training, the school stood recognised.

8. Section 13 of the Rajasthan Nursing Council Act provides that die institutions mentioned therein shall be entitled to be registered which reads as under :--

"13. Persons entitled to be registered :-- The following persons shall be entitled to be registered under this Act, namely :--

(i) nurses, midwives, health visitors and auxiliary nurse-midwives who have undergone the course of training prescribed by the Council and have passed the prescribed examinations held by the Council and fulfil such further conditions as may be prescribed;

(ii) nurses, midwives, health visitors and auxiliary nurse-midwives holding corresponding certificates issued by, authorities in other States in India and foreign Council if such certificates are recognised by the Indian Nursing Council;

(iii) nurse, midwives, health visitors and auxiliary nurse-midwives who are already in practice at the commencement of this Act and fulfil such conditions as may be prescribed."

9. From the reading of sub-clause (2) of Section 13 it is very clear that the certificate issued by the Karnataka Council which was recognised authority, was a valid certificate for the purpose of registration at Rajasthan and, therefore, the Registrar, Rajasthan Nursing Council had rightly registered the petitioners. Section 18 of the Act is not applicable in the present case for the reason that Section 18 can be made applicable if it is proved to the satisfaction of the Registrar that the entry in the register had been made fraudulently or incorrectly which is not the case in the present case.

10. In the present case it is admitted fact that the Karnataka Council was an authority as recognised by the Indian Nursing Council, New Delhi and Karnataka Council was authorised to issue certificates as per Schedule I under Sections 10 and 11. The certificate had been validly issued by the Karnataka Council. Only because of the reason that some officer of the Indian Nursing Council. New Delhi was writing irresponsible letters for which he was also suspended, it cannot be said that Raichur Institution stood recognised. It is not the function of the Indian Nursing Council to recognise or derrecognise any institution imparting training as that function falls within the jurisdiction of the State Council. It is State Council which can recognise or de-recognise a training institution as ultimately it is the State Council which issues the certificate under the provisions of the Act. Registrar, Rajasthan Nursing Council has as a matter of fact without application of mind followed the order and directions issued by the Indian Nursing Council, New Delhi. It was incumbent upon the Registrar, Rajasthan Nursing Council to have made proper inquiries and also to have given proper opportunity to the petitioners, which had not been done. Even though in the present case, the command of the Indian Nursing Council, New Delhi, was obeyed without application of mind, some fault does lay on the Registrar, Rajasthan Nursing Council as well. It was the duty of the Registrar, Rajasthan Nursing Council to see that the certificate issued by the Karnataka Council was validly issued or not and once the certificate is issued by the authority which is recognised by the Indian Nursing Council, the registration is permissible u/s 13. It was the function of the Rajasthan State Council to look into this aspect which it had failed to do.

11. For the discussions mentioned above and also coupled with the fact that even the Indian Nursing Council had admitted that it was not the authority to recognise or de-recognise any training institution and for the reason that the Raichur School itself has been recognised retrospectively and also for the discussions mentioned above, the impugned order Annexure-6 cannot sustain in the eyes of law and, therefore, is quashed. The Registration made by the Rajasthan Nursing Council shall continue to be in existence.

12. The writ petition is allowed with a cost of Rs. 5,000/- to be borne by the respondent No. 2.
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