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Delhi High Court defers hearing on plea against Baba Ramdev for belittling allopathic doctors over Covid-19 treatment

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The Delhi High Court today deferred hearing on a petition filed by the Resident Doctors Association, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and others against Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev for his derogatory remarks against allopathy and allopathic doctors regarding the treatment of Covid-19.

The matter was today listed before the Single-Judge Bench of Justice C Hari Shankar. 

The petition was moved by Advocate Harshvardhan Kotla on behalf of seven Doctors’ associations, alleging that Baba Ramdev was spreading misinformation through his statements against allopathy, under Section 91 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC) seeking leave to institute the present suit, as grant of such leave is a statutory requirement under Section 91(1) of the act.

The petitioners include three Resident Doctors’ Association of All India Institute of Medical Sciences at Rishikesh, Patna and Bhubaneshwar; Association of Resident Doctors, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh; Union of Resident Doctors of Punjab (URDP); Resident Doctors’ Association, Lala Lajpat Rai Memorial Medical College, Meerut; and Telangana Junior Doctors’ Association, Hyderabad.

The plea alleged that Baba Ramdev was misleading the public at large through his remarks, saying that allopathy was responsible for the death of several people infected by Novel Coronavirus, and that the allopathic doctors were causing death of people.

The petition further alleged that Baba Ramdev was creating doubts in the minds of general public regarding the safety and efficacy of allopathic treatments, as well as the Covid-19 vaccines. The plea stated that since Baba Ramdev is a highly influential person, the statements made by him could influence the general public at large and divert them from adopting allopathic treatments, which are prescribed as the standard form of care even by the Government.

Earlier, the Court had asked the associations to place on record the video clips pertaining to the alleged misinformation. Following the alleged remarks, multiple complaints have been lodged against Baba Ramdev by various medical associations.

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On August 16, a pass over was sought by Rajiv Nayar, Senior Counsel for the defendants. However, the court said “A pass over is not feasible in a matter where Tushar Mehta, learned Solicitor General, is appearing.”

The court had re-notified the matter for August 18, but ended up adjourning as Akhil Sibal, the Counsel appearing on behalf of the plaintiff, stated some personal engagement.

The court, on a previous occasion, had asked the associations to place on record the video clips pertaining to the alleged misinformation. Following the alleged remarks, multiple complaints have been lodged against Baba Ramdev by various medical associations.

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