Submit Original Video, Transcripts of 'allopathy' remark: Supreme Court tells Baba Ramdev
New Delhi: Taking note of the fact that the Yoga guru Baba Ramdev hasn't submitted his original statement regarding the controversial 'allopathy' remark, the Apex Court on Wednesday asked him to place on record the original video and transcript of the same.
The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana, and also comprising of Justices AS Bopanna, and Hrishikesh Roy was considering the petition filed by Baba Ramdev himself demanding the clubbing of the FIRs lodged against him after the 'allopathy' row. Asking the counsel representing Ramdev to place the original statement on record, the Apex Court has posted the matter to be next heard on July 5.
Medical Dialogues had recently reported that seeking a stay on the proceedings in multiple cases lodged against him in various states over his alleged remarks on the efficacy of allopathy in the treatment of Covid-19, Yoga guru Ramdev had approached the Supreme Court.
In the writ petition, Ramdev had sought protection from coercive actions in FIRs lodged by Indian Medical Associations' (IMA) Patna and Raipur branches, and transfer of FIRs to Delhi. He had also sought clubbing and consolidation of FIRs and stay of the proceedings.
On Wednesday, during the hearing conducted through videoconferencing, advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who was appearing for the yoga guru, told the Bench that Mr. Ramdev is a public figure and proponent of yoga and Ayurveda.
He further said that during an event, Mr. Ramdev had read out a WhatsApp message which was sent to him, reports PTI.
Mr. Ramdev has clarified that he has nothing against doctors or anyone, Mr. Rohatgi said, adding that several complaints have been registered against at different places.
"Different complaints and FIRs have been filed against him," he said, adding that these complaints be clubbed in Delhi.
Mr. Rohatgi said that last year, when Patanjali had brought 'coronil', allopathic doctors went against him.
"He [Ramdev] is not against them. Why should he go to so many places. Everybody has freedom of speech," he said.
Following this, the Apex Court bench asked Mr. Rohtagi, the counsel appearing for Baba Ramdev, "What is the original thing which he has said? You have not placed the whole thing."
Mr. Rohatgi in response told the Bench that he would file the original video along with the transcript.
"Okay," the Bench said and posted the matter for hearing on July 5.
The top court was hearing Mr. Ramdev's plea seeking stay on the proceedings in connection with multiple FIRs lodged against him by Indian Medical Association (IMA) in Bihar and Chhattisgarh over his remarks against the use of allopathic medicine during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Patna and Raipur chapters of the IMA have lodged complaints against Mr. Ramdev alleging that his remarks are likely to cause prejudice to the COVID-19 control mechanism and may dissuade people from availing proper treatment against the pandemic.
In his plea, he has sought transfer of the FIRs lodged in Patna and Raipur to Delhi.
The yoga guru has been booked under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
Sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (negligent act likely to an infection of disease dangerous to life) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of the IPC have been invoked against him.
The feud erupted after Ramdev was allegedly heard saying in a video, "Allopathy is a stupid science and medicines such as Remdesivir, Fabiflu, and other drugs approved by the Drugs Controller General of India have failed to treat COVID-19 patients."
His remarks caused massive outrage and the IMA sent over a legal notice to him.
Various medical associations and doctors' bodies had flayed him for belittling the sacrifice of more than 1200 doctors who have laid their lives (since the onset of COVID-19), taking Twitter by storm with hashtag #ArrestQuackRamdev trending with more than 19000 tweets. IMA cited a video of Ramdev which is viral on social media. In the video, Ramdev is allegedly heard saying, "Allopathy ek aisi stupid and diwaliya science hai." He also claimed that "lakhs of people have died after taking allopathic medicines" and that Remdesivir, Faviflu, and all other drugs approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) failed in treating Covid-19.
Mr. Ramdev, whose alleged statements created a nation-wide debate over Allopathy versus Ayurveda issue, however, had withdrawn his statements on May 23 after receiving a letter from Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, who had called his remarks "inappropriate".