An FIR has been registered in Jaipur against yoga guru Ramdev, his aide and Patanjali Ayurved Ltd managing director Balkrishna and three others, accusing them of cheating and conspiring to sell fake medicines claiming to cure coronavirus following clinical trials on Covid-19 patients.
The others named in the FIR are Anurag Varshney, an employee of Patanjali, Balvir Singh Tomar and Anurag Singh Tomar, chairman and director, respectively, at the Jaipur-based National Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (NIMS).
The FIR was registered at Jyoti Nagar police station in the city on the basis of a complaint by individuals, including a Jaipur-based advocate who questioned the clinical trials which reportedly took place on Covid-19 patients at NIMS.
Jyoti Nagar SHO Sudhir Kumar Upadhyay said the FIR has invoked IPC Section 420 (cheating) and Sections 4 and 7 of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954. “We registered the FIR on Friday and are investigating the matter. No arrests have been made till now,” he said.
Launching what he claimed was the first ayurvedic medicine to cure Covid-19 in Haridwar on June 23, Ramdev had claimed that ‘Coronil tablet’, ‘Swasari Vati’ and ‘Anu Taila’ had shown “100 per cent favourable results” during clinical trials on Covid-19 patients.
The Union AYUSH Ministry subsequently sought details about the purported medicine and directed Patanjali and Ramdev to stop advertising such claims. The Rajasthan government had said that it had no knowledge about the clinical trials conducted at NIMS, and that no permission was sought for any such trial.
The Chief Medical and Health Officer, Jaipur, has served a notice to NIMS over the issue, and state Health Minister Raghu Sharma has said that action will be taken if any attempt is made to sell the purported drug as a potential medicine for Covid-19 patients in Rajasthan.
“The main accusation is cheating people under the garb of selling medicines of Covid-19. I will also approach the court, demanding a CBI inquiry into the matter. It is our demand that action be taken against the accused,” advocate Balram Jakhar, one of the complaints in the case, said.
Jakhar, who identified himself as an independent advocate subscribing to the “ideology of the Congress party”, cited previous cases registered against Balvir Tomar to demand a detailed investigation into the matter.
Stating that FIRs had earlier been registered against Tomar him in different matters, and he was also in judicial custody, Jakhar said, “It should be investigated how Tomar, who runs a hospital not related to ayurved, launched this alleged Covid-19 medicine with Ramdev. We demand a detailed investigation into roles of every accused in the case,” Jakhar said.
Tomar’s son Anurag, also named in the FIR registered on Friday, was arrested in 2017 in a case lodged by his father following a dispute.
Calls and messages to Tomar for his response remained unanswered; Anurag Tomar declined to comment on the matter.
In 2018, a woman employee had lodged an FIR at Amer police station against Tomar, accusing him of raping her.
In 2016, Tomar was arrested by Jharkhand police based on a complaint of allegedly outraging the modesty of a woman. The FIR was filed by a former student of NIMS University, who accused Tomar of allegedly misbehaving with her in Ranchi in 2015.
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