Healthcare Services included with the Ambit of Consumer Protection Act, 2019

In a recent development, where a Public Interest Litigation (‘PIL’) was filed before the Supreme Court (‘SC’) seeking a declaration that services performed by healthcare service providers are not included within the purview of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 (‘The Act of 2019’), the SC, while dismissing the PIL as misconceived, held that doctors and healthcare services are not excluded from the ambit of the Act of 2019. The Court further observed that, “If at all the Parliament while repealing and replacing the 1986 Act with the 2019 Act had intended to give a meaning to the term “service” different from the one given by the Supreme Court, such intention ought to have been reflected in clear words by a specific exclusion of ‘health care’ from the purview of the 2019 Act. While construing a statute, what has not been said is equally important as what has been said.”