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Saturday, November 27, 2021

Suit against Ramdev to go ahead as HC gives green signal

Doctors’ associations have sought a permanent and mandatory injunction against Ramdev’s “sustained and mala fide misinformation campaign” during the pandemic against allopathy and doctors practicing in the field.

Written by Sofi Ahsan | New Delhi |
Updated: October 27, 2021 10:07:43 pm
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev. (Express File)

Granting permission to a group of doctors’ associations to institute a suit against Ramdev for his statements against allopathy during the pandemic, the Delhi High Court Wednesday issued summons to the Yoga guru and others and asked them to file their written statements within four weeks.

“Clearly, from parts of those video clips, your client is scorning the allopathic treatment protocol. It is clear. If you want me to reproduce those things in the order, I will reproduce it, it might be detrimental to your client,” said Justice C Hari Shankar addressing Ramdev’s counsel.

A suit under Section 91 of the Code of Civil Procedure alleging public nuisance or other wrongful act, affecting or likely to affect the public, can be instituted only by an Advocate General or with leave from a court.

The court said that the only issue involved at this stage is whether the plaintiff should be allowed to institute the suit or not. “From the parts of the clips which have been shown, there is definitely a case for the institution of the suit. He (doctors) may ultimately have nothing in his prayer for injunction or damages, but it is not a case where I can say that the case is so frivolous that he should not be allowed to institute the suit at all,” it added.

Senior advocate Rajiv Nayar, representing Ramdev, did not oppose the issuance of summons after hearing the observations of the court. Nayar, however, objected to allegations made against his client in the suit and submitted that it does not disclose any case for grant of any of the relief sought.

The court, in the order, later said that it has not expressed any opinion on the merits regarding the allegations in the suit.

The resident doctors’ association of AIIMS, Rishikesh, and other unions representing the medicos have sought a permanent and mandatory injunction against Ramdev’s “sustained and mala fide misinformation campaign” during the pandemic against allopathy and doctors practicing in the field. Senior advocate Akhil Sibal is representing them.

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

“(Ramdev) is a highly influential person and has a very large reach, with followers numbering several 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 could divert people from allopathic treatments, which would be violative of the right to the health of people.

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