The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued summons to yoga guru Ramdev on a lawsuit filed by several medical associations who objected to his comments mocking allopathy treatment for coronavirus, Live Law reported.
The court has asked Ramdev to file his response within four weeks.
In May, Ramdev had said that medicines such as remdesivir and favipiravir – approved by the Drugs Controller General of India for coronavirus treatment – had failed against Covid-19. “Lakhs of patients have died because of allopathic medicines rather than a shortage of oxygen,” he had claimed.
A number of medical associations subsequently filed a lawsuit in the High Court contending that Ramdev was spreading misinformation against allopathy amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Justice C Hari Shankar on Wednesday said that he had seen the video clips of the yoga guru’s remarks. “From the perusal of the video clips, your client is scorning the allopathic treatment protocol,” he said, according to PTI. “From the perusal of the clips, there is definitely a case for the institution of the suit. They (plaintiffs) may have nothing for an injunction but the case is not frivolous.”
However, the judge clarified that he was not expressing any opinion about the allegations in the lawsuit.
Rajiv Nayar, the lawyer appearing for Ramdev, said he was not objecting to issuing summons to his client, but opposed the allegations made in the plea.
He noted that the suit dealt with three aspects – the promotion of Patanjali Ayurved’s product Coronil, defamation of allopathy and promotion of hesitancy against vaccination. He demanded that the court should only restrict its notice to the aspect of defamation.
Ramdev is the founder of Patanjali Ayurved.
However, the court said that it was not currently passing an order on the matter. “You file your written statement. Say there is no case,” the judge said.
The High Court has also issued notices to search engine Google and social media platforms Facebook and Twitter, according to PTI.
In May, the Indian Medical Association demanded that the Centre should take action against Ramdev for his statements against modern medicine.
The top medical body demanded that the Centre either book Ramdev under the Epidemic Diseases Act or accept his accusations and “dissolve” modern medical facilities. It added that his comments challenged the integrity of Drugs Controller General of India and the then Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.
Patanjali Yogpeeth had said that Ramdev’s comment was taken “totally out of context”. Balkrishna, the general secretary of the organisation, said that the video in which Ramdev can be heard making the statement was truncated, and that the yoga guru has no ill-will towards modern science and its practitioners.