The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued summons to yoga guru Ramdev on a case filed by the Delhi Medical Association seeking to restrain him from giving false information on Coronil, a product manufactured by his firm Patanjali Ayurved, Bar and Bench reported. Ramdev claims Coronil can cure the coronavirus disease in seven days, even though there is no firm scientific evidence to back his assertion.
A single-judge bench of Justice C Hari Shankar refused to restrain Ramdev from making statements against the use of allopathy and in favour of Coronil, as of yet. The judge said that Ramdev’s statements were his “opinion” and needs to be tested “on the anvil of Article 19(1)(a)”, which guarantees the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression.
The judge, however, directed Ramdev’s counsel orally to ask the yoga guru not to make any such statements for three weeks, till the suit is listed for maintainability.
The petition filed by the Delhi Medical Association comes days after the Indian Medical Association on May 27 filed a police complaint against Ramdev, seeking an first information report against him for spreading “false and baseless” information about treatment of Covid-19 patients by approved methods and drugs.
Ramdev has been at the centre of a row since in a video that was widely circulated last month, he was seen claiming that 1,000 doctors died even after getting two doses of the vaccine. Scroll.in could not independently verify the authenticity of the video.
During Thursday’s proceedings, Advocate Rajiv Dutta, appearing for the Delhi Medical Association, told the court that it was a suit for civil rights of doctors, Bar and Bench reported.
“It [Ramdev’s statements] is affecting the members of the plaintiff,” Dutta said. “He is calling doctors names...He is saying this science is fake.”
“I don’t think your allopathic profession is so fragile,” the court said in response, adding that the medical body should have filed a public interest litigation, instead of a suit. The court, thus, asked the Delhi Medical Association to amend its complaint.
“If Patanjali is violating [rules], it is for the government to act,” the court said, according to NDTV. “Why are you carrying the torch?...You better file a PIL saying that he [Ramdev] called it a cure [for coronavirus] and then changed it to immunity booster, and in the meantime, millions bought it.”
The court also dismissed Dutta’s submissions regarding the profits made by Patanjali Ayurved by selling Coronil and that Ramdev had a “vast following”, which could lead to spread of misinformation.
“Is he [Ramdev] to be blamed for people buying Coronil?” the court said. “Ramdev is a person, he doesn’t have faith in allopathy. He believes everything can be cured by yoga and ayurveda. He may be right or wrong.”
In February, Ramdev had released a research paper by Patanjali Ayurved, claiming that Coronil was the “first evidence-based medicine” for treating the coronavirus infection. Union ministers Harsh Vardhan and Nitin Gadkari were also present at the event. However, on the same day, the World Health Organization, without naming anyone, clarified that it had not reviewed or certified the effectiveness of any traditional medicine.