Delhi HC issues summons to Ramdev in DMA plea over Patanjali's Coronil
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has issued summons to Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev acting on the suit filed by Delhi Medical Association (DMA) for alleged statements against allopathic medicines and claiming Patanjali's Coronil kit is a cure for COVID-19.
The court asked him to file a response in three weeks and listed the matter for hearing on July 13. It further, orally asked the counsel for Ramdev to tell him not to make any provocative statement till the next date of hearing.
This came after Delhi Medical Association (DMA) moved High Court and submitted before the court that Ramdevs statement affects, as Coronil medicine does not cure coronavirus and it is misleading.
On being asked by the court as to how did this statement affect the association, senior advocate Rajiv Dutta, representing DMA, said it affects because this medicine does not cure coronavirus and this was a suit for civil rights of doctors.
Considering the submission of DMA, the High court has issued the summons and imposed an inter alia restrainment on Baba Ramdev from making any statements suggesting that Coronill is a treatment for COVID.
However, the court did not take any actions against Ramdev over the comments especially statements made in favour of Patanjali's Coronil as it found that his statement was just an "opinion" and should be tested on the parameter of free speech.
The Court observed that persons may hold opinions for which a suit cannot be filed against them;
"If I feel some science is fake.. tomorrow I feel homeopathy is fake.. do you mean they will file a suit against me?.. It is public opinion.. Ramdev is a person..he doesn't have faith is allopathy. He believes everything can be cured by Yoga and Ayurveda. He may be right or wrong.."
"I don't think your allopathic profession is so fragile..Someone has a view that it is because of inefficacy of allopathic medicines that so many people have died..I think it comes within Art 19(1)(a)."
The court observed that as a considerable amount of time has been passed since the statements were made and the maintainability of the suit was also questioned, the court cannot make any injunctive order without listening to the other party that is Ramdev. The court stated that it appeared that prima facie the comments made by Ramdev can be treated under Section 91(1) CPC which requires a party to seek its permission to institute a suit.
" Let's assume what he has said is wrong, misleading, mischievous...therefore I understand it is a statement affecting the general public. There is a provision under CPC. A suit under Public interest can't be filed except under Section 95 CPC".
"It is an opinion..any case founded on prayer for blocking statements has to be tested on anvil of art 19(1)(a).. there is a right.. terminology may be offensive.."
The court added,
"Ramdev is a person...he doesn't have faith is allopathy. He believes everything can be cured by Yoga and Ayurveda. He may be right or wrong."
"Ministry does not say so. It has not given any finding...So far as I know, to give a declaration...it is an extremely involved process. It will require extensive study and research."
"Then tell your client to not make any statements."
"I've no objection to him making statements on Coronil...Mr Nayar is a very respectable senior. I'm sure his client will listen to him."