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Don’t mislead people by saying more than what is official: Delhi HC to Ramdev over Covid vaccine

“One is, I am concerned about the good name of Ayurveda being destroyed. I am concerned about it. Ayurveda is a recognised, ancient system of medicine. Let’s not do anything to harm the good name of Ayurveda,” said Justice Anup Jairam Bhambani.

Baba Ramdev (File)

The Delhi High Court Wednesday questioned yoga guru Baba Ramdev over his recent statement that US President Joe Biden tested positive for Covid-19 despite being vaccinated and it was a “failure” of medical science, saying people should not be misled by stating what is more than official.

“One is, I am concerned about the good name of Ayurveda being destroyed. I am concerned about it. Ayurveda is a recognised, ancient system of medicine. Let’s not do anything to harm the good name of Ayurveda,” said Justice Anup Jairam Bhambani.

“The second is, here people are being named. It can have international consequences for our relations, country’s relations with foreign countries… Leaders are being named which will affect our good relations with foreign nations,” he said.

Justice Bhambani made the remarks during the hearing of a suit filed by various doctors’ associations against Ramdev for his statements against allopathy.

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On anti-vaxxers, the court said, “It’s one thing to say that I choose not to take the vaccine but it’s quite another thing to say ‘look, forget the vaccine, it’s useless but take this, which formulation I am propagating should be administered to everyone including world leaders’”.

The court added that anybody is welcome to choose. It also told Ramdev he was welcome to have his followers, disciples, and people who believe in him. “But please don’t mislead the public by saying more than what is official,” it said.

It also asked whether he would undertake to stop making any further statements about Coronil till the pendency of the case. However, Ramdev’s counsel refused to make any such statement.

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The bench also took exception to Ramdev’s counsel for “denigrating the plaintiffs” and terming the suit a motivated case. On Ramdev’s counsel’s submission that the case was being made Congress vs BJP, the court said, “There is no room for politics in the courtroom”.

Senior advocate Akhil Sibal on Wednesday concluded arguments in the suit on behalf of the group of doctors’ associations against Ramdev for his statements against allopathy during the coronavirus pandemic and for claiming that Coronil is a cure against Covid-19. The court will continue to hear the suit next week.

In July, Ramdev and other defendants had told the court that they are willing to offer the requisite clarifications that would address the issues raised in the suit. However, allopathic doctors have not agreed to the draft prepared by Ramdev’s side.

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The Residents Doctors’ Association of All India Institute of Medical Science, Rishikesh and other unions representing the doctors in the lawsuit have sought a permanent and mandatory injunction against Ramdev’s “sustained and mala fide misinformation campaign” during the ongoing pandemic against allopathy and doctors practising in the field.

The suit filed by the doctors alleges that Ramdev was misleading and misrepresenting the public by claiming that allopathy was responsible for the deaths of several people infected by Covid-19, and insinuating that allopathic doctors were causing the deaths of thousands of patients.

“(Ramdev) is a highly influential person and has a very large reach, with followers numbering several lacs (lakhs) on social media, and accordingly statements made by him have the potential to directly influence his followers into acting in terms of his directions,” it states.

The associations have also contended such a “misinformation campaign” during the ongoing pandemic has the propensity to divert people from allopathic treatments, which would be violative of the right to health of people in India.

First published on: 17-08-2022 at 02:56:42 pm
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