The Delhi High Court on Monday declined to stay an order of a trial court directing Indian Medical Association chief Johnrose Austin Jayalal to refrain from using the organisation’s platform to propagate any religion, PTI reported.
Justice Asha Menon warned Jayalal that “loose comments” cannot be expected from a person heading the medical association.
Menon refused to pass an order on Jayalal’s plea against the June 4 trial court order as nobody appeared on behalf of the complainant. It listed the matter for further hearing on June 16.
The complainant, Rohit Jha, had alleged that Jayalal started a defamatory campaign against the Hindu religion by promoting Christianity in the garb of “proving superiority of allopathic medicines over ayurveda” in treatment of patients suffering from the coronavirus disease.
“Saying Christianity and allopathy are the same and is the gift by western world would be the most innaccurate assertion,” Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Goel had said in his order, according to Live Law. “IMA is prestigious institution whose aims and objectives are meant for the welfare of doctor and other related aspects. Such a platform cannot be used to propagate any individual’s views on any religion.”
Jha accused Jayalal of misusing his position in order to convert Hindus to Christianity. Citing articles and interviews of Jayalal, the complainant sought a direction from the trial court to restrain him from writing, speaking to media or publishing any content that is defamatory to Hindu religion or ayurveda.
The trial court, however, said no injunction was required based on the assurance given by Jayalal.
Advocate Tanmaya Mehta, representing Jayalal, told the High Court that he never gave any such assurance to the trial court since he has not done anything wrong. Mehta sought to stay the observations made against the IMA chief in the trial court court order. The advocate said it was affecting his reputation as he was heading a body that had 3.5 lakh doctors as its members.
Moreover, he argued that the suit was filed based on fake news and that Jayalal was not propagating any religion, including Christianity. “If anyone promotes allopathy, this does not mean that the person was asking for conversion into Christianity,” Mehta added. “Jayalal never uttered any remarks against Hinduism nor ever tried to force convert any Indian of any religion into Christianity.”