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DENTISTS ACT, 1948

16 of 1948

29th March 1948

STATEMENTS OF OBJECTS AND REASONS 1. "Excepts in Bengal, where there is a Provincial Dental Council established under a Provincial Act, there is no legal provision for the regulation of the education and training of dental practitioners or for the registration of qualified persons. There is also no restriction on the practice of dentistry by person without scientific training. It is well known that the practice of dentistry by untrained or inadequately trained persons may constitute a danger to the patient. It is accordingly proposed to constitute an Indian Dental Council, which will be empowered to lay down minimum standards of training, and Provincial Councils, which will maintain registers of persons entitled to practice dentistry. The Indian Dental Council will also be authorised to enter into agreements with corresponding authorities in other countries for the reciprocal recognition of qualifications. For the purposes of the preparation of the first register persons holding certain specified qualifications and persons who do not hold such qualifications but have practised dentistry for a minimum period of two years will be entitled to registration. Thereafter entry to the profession will be restricted to persons who have undergone a minimum standard of training. As the Indian Dental Council will have the responsibility of laying down standards of education and training, only dentists who have undergone such training and possess recognised qualifications will be entitled to be elected to the Council. In order that simple dental aid may be made available to the people on as wide a basis as possible, provision is made for the registration of dental hygienists who will be entitled to carry out simple extractions and perform minor dental work. Registered medical practitioners will be entitled to practice dentistry. The existing Bengal Denial Council will perform the functions of a Provincial Denial Council under this Act and persons registered under the Bengal Dental Act will be entitled to registration without payment of registration fee. In view of the provisions of



section 119 of the Government of India Act, 1935, persons who are not British subjects of Indian domicile and who are residents in British India and hold specified dental qualifications, will be admitted to the first register hut thereafter such persons will be entitled to registration only if their qualifications have been recognised by the Indian Dental Council in pursuance of a reciprocity agreement. The Indian Dental Council will be debarred from entering into a reciprocity agreement unless by the law and practice of the foreign country Indians are permitted to enter and practice dentistry in that country - Gazette of India, 1947. Pt. 5. p. 425. Act 12 of 1955:- The reasons given for the passing of the Dentists (Amendment) Act. 1955, (12 of 1955). are as follows : - "The Dentists Act, 1948 (16 of 1948), came into force with effect from the 29th March. 1948, in all the then Provinces of India. It has also been extended to the newly created Part C States, e.g. Himachal Pradesh, Vindhya Pradesh. and Bhopal. In consultation with the Government of Part B States, it is now proposed to extend it to all Part B States except Jammu and Kashmir. 2. Under the existing Act Indian citizens who did not possess any recognised dental qualifications, but had been engaged in practice as dentists as their principal means of livelihood for a period of not less than 5 years prior to the commencement of the Act. had been allowed registration under The Act at the time of first preparation of registers in States. Certain displaced persons who had migrated to India from Pakistan after the first preparation of the Registers and who did not possess any recognised dental qualifications but who had been engaged in The profession of dentistry for their livelihood in Pakistan claimed similar facilities for registration as were given to Indian citizens. Since it is not possible to accede to their request without amending the Act, it is proposed lo amend The Act for the purpose. 3. Under section 33 (2). temporary registration was allowed for a period of 5 years if one had been engaged in practice as a dentist as his principal means of livelihood for a period of not less than 2 years during five years prior to the commencement of the Act, but permanent registration to such persons is admissible only if they could pass within a period of 5 years after the commencement of the Act an examination which satisfies the requirements of the Council. Since enough training facilities for the dentists do not exist in the country many dentists who were temporarily registered under the Act could not qualify for permanent registration. In order to enable them to pass an examination, it is proposed to give them more time to pass the examination. For this purpose the five-years period is intended to be extended to 10 years. 4. Under section 3 (c) of the existing Act, 4 seats are available on the Dental Council of India to be filled by election from among themselves by the heads of dental colleges in States which grant recognised dental qualification. Since there is only one dental college in India which grants denial qualifications, the other 3 seats meant for the heads of Dental Colleges on the Dental Council of India have remained vacant . It is now proposed to fill the vacancies by throwing open the election to heads of dental colleges which train students for recognised dental qualifications. 5. Under the existing Act a foreign national is not entitled to registration even if he possesses a recognised dental qualification unless the law and practice of the State or country to which such person belongs, persons of Indian origin holding dental qualifications registrable in that State or country are permitted to enter and practice the profession of dentistry in such a State or country. It is, therefore, proposed on grounds of expediency and propriety to permit. irrespective of considerations of reciprocity, foreigners holding reputable dental qualifications who are employed for teaching or research in dental institutions in the country, to have temporary registration for the period of their employment or for a period of five years whichever is shorter, provided that such foreigners do not practice dentistry for personal gain. This opportunity is also being taken to make some other minor and consequential amendments in the Act which have been found necessary during the past 6 years since its enactment. - S. O. R., Gaz., of Ind., l954, Extra., Pt. II., S.2. page 206. ACT 42 OF 1972:- The Dentists Act, 1948, extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. It has been decided with the concurrence of the Government of Jammu and Kashmir to extend the Act to the State of Jammu and Kashmir also. Under the existing provisions of the Act, the power to recognise dental qualificalions vests in the Dental Council of India. It is now proposed to vest this power in the Central Government. There is no provision in the Act for the appointment of Visitors by the Dental Council of India for the inspection of dental institutions. Since such inspection is considered desirable in the interest of dental education, it is proposed to make a provision for the appointment of Visitors. The rules of professional ethics adopted by the State Dental Councils vary from State to State. It is proposed to empower the Denial Council of India to prescribe standards of professional conduct, etiquette and a code of ethics for dentists in order to bring about uniformity in these rules, Certain displaced persons who had migrated to India from an area which is now known as Bangla Desh or have been repat riated from Burma or Ceylon and who did not possess any recognised dental qualifications but who had been engaged in the profession of dentistry for their livelihood in an area which is not known as Bangla Desh. Burma or Ceylon, are being provided facility for registration to enable them to practise dentistry. It is proposed to give effect to this proposal with effect from the date of commencement of the Dentists (Amendment) Act, 1972. Opportunity has also been taken to curry out certain amendments in the Act to enable the Dental Council of India to discharge its functions effectively. The Bill seeks to achieve the above objects S.O.R. Gaz., of India. 1-6-72. Pt. II.S.2. Ext. P. 598. ACT 30 of 1993 : - The Dentists Act, 1948 was enacted with the object of regulating the profession of dentistry and for that purpose to constitute Dental Councils. 2. The experience of the working of the Act has brought to light certain inadequacies. One of the most noticeable inadequacies has been the mushrooming of the dental colleges without adequate academic and training facilities as laid down in the regulations of the Dental Council of India. At present, the law does not require any one to seek the prior permission of Dental Council of India before establishing a new dental college or for adding a new course of study or post- graduate course or for increasing the capacity of 'students in any existing college, taking advantage of these legal lacumae dental colleges were being established after obtaining the permission of the State Government and affiliation from the University concerned. After the students had put in two or three years of study, such colleges were approaching the Dental Council of India for recognition. The Dental Council of India is not in a position to stop the functioning of such colleges at that stage as such a step would invariably harm the future prospects of the students and result in allegations of victimisation. 3. The Dental Council of India has been examining modifications in the Act, to enable the Council to discharge its duties more effectively and exercise better control on maintenance of standards at the instance of the Central Government. In the meantime, instances of private colleges being permitted to start dental courses by State Govern- ments without making provision for the requisite infrastructural facilities, necessitated, urgent action to be taken to check further proliferation. The President , therefore promulgated the Dentists (Amendment) Ordinance, 1992 (Ordinance 14 of 1992) on the 27th August, 1992 to amend the Dentists Act by incorporating therein provisions for prior permission of the Central Government for establishing any new dental college and for starting any new or higher course of study or training or increase in the admission capacity in any existing college. Any person desirous of starting a new dental college, etc, will be required to apply to the Central Government in the form prescribed by the Dental Council of India. 4. The Bill seeks to replace the aforesaid ordinance. - See Gaz. of India . 26-11-1992. Pt. II S. 2, Ext., P,13 (No. 58)

An Act to regulate the profession of dentistry. Whereas it is expedient to make provision for the regulation of the profession of dentistry and for that purpose to constitute Dental Councils : It is hereby enacted as follows :-The Act is extended to the merged States in Bombay: see Bom. Act 4 of 1950. Section 3 ( 1 ). The Act has now been extended to the Union Territories of - (i) Dadra and Nagar Haveli by Reg. 6 of 1963 (1-7-1965): (ii) Pondicherry

2by Reg. 7 of 1963 ( 1-10-1963) (iii) Goa, Daman and Diu by Regn. 11 of 1963 (15-4.1963). The Act was applied to the Union Territory of Himachal Pradesh by Himachal Pradesh (Application of Laws) Order. 1948. with effect from 25-12-1948. II.P. is a State now - See Act 53 of 1970.

 

SECTION 01: SHORT TITLE AND EXTENT



(1) This Act may be called the Dentists Act, 1948.

(2) It extends to the whole of India3[******].

 

SECTION 02: INTERPRETATION



- In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or contest, -

(a) "the Council" means the Dental Council of India constituted under section 3;

(b) "dental hygienist" means a person not being a dentist or a medical practitioner, who scales, cleans or polishes teeth, or gives instructions in dental hygiene;

OBJECTS AND REASONS Section 2 (b)- "The expression "simple extraction" is rather vague. Therefore, carrying out of simple extraction has been excluded from the functions of the dental hygienist."-S.C.R.

(c) "dental mechanic" means a person who makes or repairs denture and dental appliances;

(d) "dentistry" includes -

(i) the performance of any operation on, and the treatment on any discase, deficiency or lesion of, human teeth or jaws, and the performance of radiographic work in connection with human teeth or jaws or the oral cavity.

(ii) the giving of any anaethetic in connection with any such operation or treatment;

(iii) the mechanical construction or the renewal of artificial dentures or restorative dental appliances;

(iv) the performance of any operation on, or the giving of any treatment, advice or attendance to, any person preparatory to, or for the purpose of, or in connection with, the filling, inserting, fixing, constructing, repairing or renewing of artificial dentures or restorative dental appliances, and the performance of any such opera- tion and the giving of any such treatment, advice or attendance, as is usually performed or given by dentists;

(e) "dentist" means a person who practises dentistry:

(f) "medical practitioner" means a person who holds a qualification granted by an authority specified or notified undersection 3 of the Indian Medical Degrees Act, 1916-, or specified in the Schedules to the5[Indian Medical Council Act, 1956],4[or specified in any other law for the time being in force in any State,] or who practises any system of medicine and is registered or is entitled to be registered in any6[State] Medical Register by whatever name called;

OBJECTS AND REASONS Section 2 (f) - "The definition of the words "medical practitioner" has been amplified to cover all medical practitioners registered or entitled to be registered."- S.C.R.

(g) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules or regulations made under this Act;

(h) "State Council" means a State Dental Council constituted undersection 21, and includes a joint State Council constituted in accordance with an agreement undersection 22;

(i) "register" means a register maintained under this Act;

7(j) "recognised dental qualification" means any of the qualifications included in the Schedule;]

(k) "recognised dental hygiene qualification" means a qualification recognised by the Council undersection 11-:

(l) "registered dentist", "registered dental hygienist" and "registered dental mechanic" shall mean, respectively, a person whose name is for the time being registered in a register of dentists, a register of dental hygienists and a register of dental mechanics.

8[(m) * * *]

 

SECTION 2A: CONSTRUCTION OF REFERENCES TO LAWS NOT IN FORCE IN JAMMU AND KASHMIR



- Any reference in this Act to a law which is not in force in the State of Jammu and Kashmir shall, in relation to that State, be construed as a reference to the corresponding law, if any, in force in that State.]

 

SECTION 03: CONSTITUTION AND COMPOSITION OF COUNCIL



- The Central Government shall, as soon as may be, constitute a Council consisting of the following members, namely: -

(a) one registered dentist possessing a recognised denial qualification elected by the dentists - registered in Part A of each10[State] register;

(b) one member elected from amongst themselves by the members of the Medical Council of India;

11[(c) not more than four members elected from among themselves, by -

(a) Principals, Deans, Directors and Vice-Principals of dental colleges in the States training students for recognised dental qualifications : Provided that not more than one member shall be elected from the same dental college;

(b) Heads of dental wings of medical colleges in the States training students for recognised dental qualifications:]

(d) one member from each University established by law in the States which grants a recognized dental qualification, to be elected by the members of the Senate of the University, or in case the University has no Senate, by the members of the Court, from amongst the members of the Dental Faculty of the University or in case the University has no Dental Faculty, from amongst the members of the Medical Faculty thereof;

(e) one member to represent12[each State13[ * * * * * * * * * * * * * *] nominated by the Government of each such State from among persons registered either in a medical register or a dental register of the State;]14[Explanation: - In this clause, "State" does not include a Union territory;]

(f) six members nominated by the Central Government, of whom at least one shall be a registered dentist possessing a recognised dental qualification and practising or holding an appointment in an institution for the training of dentists in a15[Union territory] and at least two shall be dentists registered in Part B of a10[State] Register;

16[(g) the Director General of Health Services, ex officio :] Provided that pending the preparation of registers the10[State] Governments may nominate to the First Council members referred to in parts (a) and (e) and the Central Government members referred to in part (f) out of persons who are eligible for registration in the respective registers and such persons shall hold office for such period as the10[State] or Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify.

 

SECTION 04: INCORPORATION OF COUNCIL



- The Council shall be a body corporate by the name of the Dental Council of India; having perpetual succession and a common seal, with power to acquire and hold property, both movable and immovable, and shall by the said name sue and be sued.

 

SECTION 05: MODE OF ELECTIONS



- Elections under this Chapter shall be conducted in the prescribed manner, and where any dispute arises regarding any such election, it shall be referred to the Central Government whose decision shall be final.

 

SECTION 06: TERM OF OFFICE AND CASUAL VACANCIES



(1) Subject to the provisions of this section an elected or nominated member shall hold office for a term of five years from the date of his election or nomination or until his successor has been duly elected or nominated, whichever is longer.17[Provided that a member nominated under clause (e) or clause (f) ofsection 3-, shall hold office during the pleasure of the authority nominating him.]

(2) An elected or nominated member may at any time resign his membership by writing under his hand addressed to the President, and the seat of such member shall thereupon become vacant.

(3) An elected or nominated member shall be deemed to have vacated his seat if he is absent without excuse, sufficient in the opinion of the Council, from three consecutive ordinary meetings of the Council or in the case of a member whose name is required to be included in18[State] register, if his name is removed from such register, or if he has been elected under cl. (c) ofsection 3-20[if he ceases to hold his appointment as the19[Principal, Dean, Director or Vice-Prin- cipal] of a dental college, or as18[the Head of the dental Wing] of a medical college], or if he has been elected under clause (b) or(d) ofsection 3-, if he ceases to be a member of the Medical Council of India or21[the Dental or Medical Faculty] of the University, as the case may be.

(4) A casual vacancy in the Council shall be filled by fresh election or nominalion, as the case may be, and the person elected or nominated to fill the vacancy shall hold office only for the remainder of the term for which the member whose place he takes was elected or nominated.

(5) Members of the Council shall be eligible for re-election or re-nomination.

(6) No act done by the Council shall be called in question on the ground merely of the existence of any vacancy in, or defect in the constitution of, the Council.

 

SECTION 07: PRESIDENT AND VICE VICE--PRESIDENT OF COUNCIL



(1) The President and Vice-President of the Council shall be elected by the members thereof from among themselves: Provided that on the first constitution of the Council and until the President is elected, a member of the Council nominated by the Central Government in this behalf shall discharge the functions of the President: Provided further that for five years from the first constitution of the Council, the President shall, if the Central Government so decides, be a person nominated by the Central Government who shall hold office during the pleasure of the Central Government, and where he is not already a member, shall be a member of the Council in addition to the members referred to insection 3-.

(2) An elected President or Vice-President shall hold office as such for a term not exceeding five years and not extending beyond the expiry of his term as member of the Council, but subject to his being a member of the Council, he shall be eligible for re-election.

 

SECTION 08: STAFF, REMUNERATION AND ALLOWANCES



(1) The Council shall-

(a) appoint a Secretary who may also, if so decided by the Council act as Treasurer;

(b) appoint such other officers and servants as the Council deems necessary lo enable it to carry out its functions under this Act:

(c) require and take from the Secretary or from any other officer or servant such security for the due performance of his duties as the Council considers necessary: and

(d) with the previous sanction of the Central Government, fix the fees and allowances of the President, Vice- President and other members of the Council, and the pay and allowances and other conditions of service of officers and servants of the Council.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in clause (a) of sub- section (1), for the first four years from the first constitution of the Council, the Secretary of the Council shall be a person appointed by the Central Government, who shall hold office during the pleasure of the Central Government.

 

SECTION 09: THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE



(1) The Council shall constitute from among its members an Executive Committee, and may so constitute other Committees for such general or special purposes as the Council considers necessary for carrying out its functions under this Act.

(2) The Executive Committee shall consist of the President and Vice-President ex officio22[and the Director-General of Health Services ex officio,] and five other members selected by the Council.

(3) The President and Vice-President of the Council shall be Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively, of the Executive Committee.

(4) A member of the Executive Committee shall hold office as such until the expiry of his term of office as member of the Council but, subject to his being a member of the Council, he shall be eligible for re-election.

(5) In addition to the powers and duties conferred and imposed on it by this Act, the Executive Committee shall exercise and discharge such powers and duties as may be prescribed.

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