(1) This is a petition for revision from the order of the Additional Sessions Judge, Delhi, dismissing the application of Dr. Vimla who wanted a decision of the Court that the prosecution which has been launched against her under section 6A of the Indian Medical Degrees Act, 1916, could not proceed owing to certain inherent defects of a legal character.
(2) Briefly stated the case for the prosecution is that Dr. Vimla had held out that she possessed a Degree of M.M.S. (London) which she did not have. Indeed there is no such Degree as M.M.S. (London) at all. Under sub-section (1) of section 6-A of the Indian Medical Degrees Act, 1916.
'no person shall add to his name any title, descriptions letters or abbreviations which imply that he holds a degree, diploma, licence or certificate as his qualification to practice any system of medicine unless, he actually holds such degree, diploma, licence or certificate;...............' Admittedly, the petitioner Dr. Vimla does not possess the degree of M.M.S. (London), Mr. Gupta, the learned counsel for the petitioner, has urged that no such degree being in existence, it is no offence to add it to her name. This argument, in my opinion, is without any substance.
The purpose of the Indian Medical Degrees Act is to regulate the grant of titles implying qualifications in Western medical science and the assumption and use by unqualified persons of such titles. The gist of the offence is the representation that the person concerned should be using the unauthorised title which implies that she holds a certain medical qualification. The word 'imply' to my mind provides the key to the construction of this provision. The existence of a diploma or degree is not an essential pre-requisite of the offence. It is not necessary that a person should falsely assume that he is the holder of a recognized diploma or degree. The intendment of the Act is also to stop the use of spurious degrees or diplomas. To a layman it may well appear that M.M.S. (London) is actually a recognised decree of London, and the Legislature undoubtedly intended to prevent dissemination of such deception. It cannot, therefore, be said, as has been argued by Mr. Gupta, that no offence can be said to be committed for a mere user of the words M.M.S. (London) as no such degree is known to exist.
(3) Equally devoid of force is the second contention of the learned counsel that the complaint ought to have been brought by an authority other than the State Government. Section 7 of the Indian Medical Degrees Act, 1916 lays down that
'no Court shall take cognizance of an offence punishable under this Act except upon complaint made by order of the Provincial Government or upon complaint made, with the previous sanction of the Provincial Government, by a Council of Medical Registration established by any enactment for the time being in force in the province'.
As the complaint has not been brought by a Council of Medical Registration it is urged by the learned counsel that it is not competent at all. As I read the provisions of section 7, a Council of Medical Registration can bring a complaint if previous sanction of the State Government has been accorded. A complaint by order of the State Government is within the purview of section 7 and is an alternative to a complaint by a Council of Medical Registration.
(4) It is also contended that the Sub-Inspector who had been authorized to investigate having died the complaint must fail as no one has been accorded sanction to carry on with the investigation. This argument seems to me to be utterly futile. The sanction to investigate does not die with the officer who has been connected with the investigation. It is the sanction for investigating a case which is required and no specific authority to a particular person is essential. The authority of the Division Bench of the Saurashtra High Court consisting of Shah, C. J. and Baxi, J., in Labhshankar Keshavji v. State AIR 1955 Sau 42 has been cited in support of his contention by the learned counsel. All that the Judges stated in that authority was
'Section 155, Criminal Procedure Code prohibits a police officer from investigating a non-cognizable offence, unless authorised by an order of a competent Magistrate.'
After the authority has been given it does not mean that if the officer who was investigating the offence happens to die, a fresh authority to investigate would be required by his successor.
(5) Lastly, it has been pointed out that the copies have not been provided to the accused person. I agree with the learned Additional Sessions Judge that a complaint as defined by clause (h) of section 4 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is not to be equated with a report made under sub-section (1) of section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and there is no legal right to demand copies. I agree with the reasoning and conclusion of the learned Sessions Judge in this respect. No copies can be asked as a matter of right but the learned counsel for the State has agreed that the prosecution would supply unattested copies to the accused as and when desired. I make it clear that this concession is not being granted to the petitioner as a matter of right. With these observations, I would dismiss this petition for revision.
(6) Petition dismissed.