"Seems like a pat on your own back:" Delhi High Court asks Baba Ramdev to come up with better clarification on Coronil

Justice Bhambhani said that the draft clarification presented was hardly a withdrawal of the claims made by Ramdev in public forums.
Ramdev and Coronil
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The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked Baba Ramdev and his company Patanjali Ayurveda to come up with a better clarification to convey that Coronil is not a cure for COVID-19 [Resident Doctors Association, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Rishikesh and Ors v. Ram Kishan Yadav Alias Swami Ramdev and Ors].

Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani observed that Patanjali’s draft clarification seemed more like a “pat on their own back” and was hardly a withdrawal of the claims made by Ramdev in public forums.

“See the point is, it has to be shorn of unnecessary verbiage and nuances. You gave the public two impressions: one is that allopathic doctors don’t have a cure and two that Coronil is the cure and treatment… You cannot say it is a supplementary measure… The idea is to be clear in your communication. Words have to express the thought. If there is bona fide thought, then it has been concealed in this clarification,” Justice Bhambhani remarked.

The Court was dealing with a petition filed by doctors alleging public nuisance and misrepresentation by Ramdev for making statements against allopathic medicine and doctors while promoting Coronil.

In the last hearing, Ramdev and Patanjali had suggested that it was ready to come up with a clarification regarding its statements and would do so in consultation with the counsel for the other side.

Justice Bhambhani was informed today the two sides could not come to an understanding.

The clarification, as read in court, effectively said that Coronil is a supplementary medicine and that Ramdev has utmost respect for the doctors.

Senior Advocate PV Kapur said that it is Ramdev’s firm belief that each medical discipline has a common objective, has its own peculiar benefit that neither is inferior or superior to others.

Appearing for the doctors, Senior Advocate Akhil Sibal stated that the clarification should have clearly said that Coronil is not a cure or a medicine.

“You can say it is an immunity booster which can be used as a supporting measure. You also need to say that it was never your intention to discourage treatment or vaccination,” he submitted.

Sibal further submitted that the claim that Ramdev’s oral statement regarding doctors has been withdrawn is also wrong, and that there are documents to show that Coronil is still being advertised and sold as a cure for COVID-19.

“They get testimonials where a woman comes and says my husband is a doctor, all his colleagues got Covid and but nothing happened to him because he took Coronil. Then another person comes and says I have motor neurone disease and instead of going to hospital I took Coronil. In another case, he (Ramdev) says all these doctors took the allopathic medicines but they are still dying and that they are murdering people,” he said.

Even as Sibal pressed for the matter to be heard on merits, Kapur submitted that another attempt should be made to resolve the issue and that Patanjali would come up with a better clarification.

Justice Bhambhani then listed the case for further consideration on August 18, but made it clear that if no clarification is issued till the next date, the Court will hear the matter on merits.

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