Don’t mislead public against allopathy, Delhi HC tells Ramdev

Baba Ramdev

Baba Ramdev

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday told yoga guru Ramdev that he should not mislead the public by saying more than what is “official” while asserting that nobody should be misled against allopathy.

“From the very beginning, my concern is only one. You are welcome to have your followers. You are welcome to have your disciples. You are welcome to have people who will believe whatever you say. But, please, do not mislead the public at large by saying more than what is official,” Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani told Mr. Ramdev.

Coronil for COVID-19

The High Court’s remarks came while hearing a lawsuit against him by several doctors’ associations for allegedly spreading misinformation concerning the use of Patanjali’s Coronil for COVID-19.

Senior advocate Akhil Sibal, appearing for the doctors’ associations, submitted that even recently, Mr. Ramdev made statements in public advertising Coronil as a treatment for COVID-19 and also suggesting the inefficacy of vaccines against COVID-19.

The senior advocate said the licence granted to Coronil “does not mention COVID-19 at all” and only speaks about it being an immunity booster and having Ayurvedic ingredients.

‘Leaders being named’

When the High Court was informed that Mr. Ramdev in a recent statement made reference to a leader of a foreign nation contracting COVID-19 even after being vaccinated, Justice Bhambhani expressed his concerns over “people being named” in Mr. Ramdev’s statements.

“Leaders are being named which will affect our good relationships with foreign nations,” Justice Bhambhani said.

Earlier this month, a video had surfaced online where Mr. Ramdev questioned the efficacy of allopathy against COVID-19, citing example of U.S. President Joe Biden testing positive for COVID-19 even after taking booster doses of the vaccine.

“My concern is to save the good name and reputation of Ayurveda as a system of medicine — our own ancient system of medicine. My aim is nobody should be misled against allopathy, also a well-recognised system of medicine,” the High Court said.

Acceptable clarification

In the last hearing on August 4, the court had asked Mr. Ramdev to give an appropriate and acceptable clarification to settle the ongoing case filed by several doctors’ associations accusing him of making statements against allopathic medicines and claiming Patanjali’s Coronil kit is a cure for COVID-19.

Senior advocate P.V. Kapur, appearing for Mr. Ramdev, said the recent statements highlighted were made “prior to the last date of hearing” and that the process has already been initiated to remove any reference to “treatment” or “cure” in relation to Coronil from their website concerned.

The senior advocate also handed over a fresh draft of a possible public statement/ disclaimer to the court, which said that Coronil was not a cure but a supporting measure and that both fields of medicine should go hand-in-hand.

The petitioners

The doctors’ associations include three Resident Doctors’ Association of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences at Rishikesh, Patna and Bhubaneshwar, Association of Resident Doctors, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, Union of Resident Doctors of Punjab (URDP); Resident Doctors’ Association, Lala Lajpat Rai Memorial Medical College, Meerut and Telangana Junior Doctors’ Association, Hyderabad.

Their suit filed last year alleged that Mr. Ramdev misled and misrepresented the public at large that allopathy was responsible for the deaths of several people infected by COVID-19, and insinuating that allopathic doctors were causing deaths of the patients.

The associations have submitted that the yoga guru was sowing doubts in the minds of general public with respect to the safety and efficacy of not only allopathic treatments but also COVID-19 vaccines.

The High Court has posted the case for further hearing on August 23.

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Printable version | Aug 18, 2022 1:35:32 am |