Why no law to reinin hair transplant centres: HC to TN
CHENNAI: The death of an MBBS student, less than two days after a hair transplant at a ‘studio’ in Chennai in May, has now led to the Madras high court voicing concern at the lack of a law to regulate hair transplant centres and beauty clinics.
Nineteen years ago, the state enacted the Tamil Nadu Private Clinical Establishments (Regulation) Act, 1997 to register and regulate hair transplantation, spas, salons and beauty clinics. The law, however, is yet to come into force because no rules were framed and notified. In the absence of such a law, a hair transplant ‘studio’ in the state today is a ‘shop’ registered under the Tamil Nadu Shops and Establishments Act.
The issue came under judicial scanner when ARHT Global Hair Services Pvt Ltd approached the high court to reopen its business in Chennai. It was sealed on June 1 after the death the MBBS student following a hair transplant.
Justice N Kirubakaran, who heard the petition, said: “A number of New type of clinics namely, hair transplantation clinic, beauty clinics, spas and studios have come up throughout the country, and they have to be regulated with a new Act. When there is no law in force to regulate the new kind of institutions, establishments and hospitals, and when a new situation arises, the existing laws are not capable of regulating them.”
Santhosh Kumar underwent hair transplant at ARHT Global Hair Services on May 15, and died on May 17. After an analysis, doctors at Christian Medical College in Vellore concluded he could have died of toxic shock syndrome/septic shock/anaphylactic syndrome. The centre was raided and sealed on June 1.
Assailing the closure order, senior counsel Vijay Narayan argued that the centre had licence under Chennai City Metropolitan Corporation Act, 1919, and registered under Tamil Nadu Shops and Establishments Act. No other requirement is mandated under any law, he said. More than 3,000 people across the country, including 300 from Chennai, had undergone hair transplant with the company. Closing the centre without giving notice is wrong, he argued.
Justice Kirubakaran, pointing out that Tamil Nadu didn’t have a regulatory mechanism as it had not framed rules for its own special law enacted in 1997, and it also did not adopt the central law enacted in 2010, said the case established that successive governments failed to take follow-up action.
Justice Kirubakaran said only Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Sikkim, besides Union territories, adopted the central Act. Karnataka enacted the Karnataka Private Medical Establishment Act (KPME)after Santhosh Kumar’s death, mandating beauty clinics, spas and salons to register under the Act.
The judge then impleaded the Centre in the present case, and put 10 questions to the state government asking why successive governments had not framed the rules and when Tamil Nadu would adopt the central Act. Justice Kirubakaran also asked authorities to give the number of complaints received by them and the action taken on such complaints.
The judge adjourned the case to September 19 for further proceedings.