The Delhi High Court today refused to restrain Baba Ramdev from making any statements against the use of allopathic medicines and in favour of Patanjali's Coronil as it remarked that the averments were just an "opinion" which had to be tested at the touchstone of free speech. .The Single Judge Bench of Justice C Hari Shankar, while hearing a suit filed by Delhi Medical Association, said, "It is an opinion..any case founded on prayer for blocking statements has to be tested on anvil of art 19(1)(a).. there is a right.. terminology may be offensive..".Even as the Delhi Medical Association argued that Ramdev's misrepresentations on Coronil and allopathy were raising issues of "grave importance", the Court responded, ."I don't think your allopathic profession is so fragile..Someone has a view that it is because of inefficacy of allopathic medicines that so many people have died..I think it comes within Art 19(1)(a).".The Court observed that persons may hold opinions for which a suit cannot be filed against against them. "If I feel some science is fake.. tomorrow I feel homeopathy is fake.. do you mean they will file a suit against me?.. It is public opinion.. Ramdev is a person..he doesn't have faith is allopathy. He believes everything can be cured by Yoga and Ayurveda. He may be right or wrong..".After hearing the parties, the Court issued summons in the plea to inter alia restrain Baba Ramdev from disseminating false information on Patanjali's Coronil, touted as a treatment for COVID-19..Since considerable time had passed since the passing of the allegedly injurious statements and there were objections with respect to the maintainability of the suit, the Court stated that no injunctive order could be passed without hearing Ramdev. .The Court also stated that de hors the merit of the case, it appeared that prima facie that the averments made by Ramdev would attract Section 91(1) CPC which requires a party to seek its permission to institute a suit. .At the outset, the Court asked counsel for the plaintiff,"Is this a Section 91 (suits relating to public nuisance under Code of Civil Procedure) suit? You can't be canvasing anything of public interest here. You say 'Oh my God, Ramdev has said something'.. you people should be spending time of finding cure for the pandemic instead of wasting court time.".Senior Advocate Rajiv Dutta, appearing for the plaintiff, told the Court that it was a suit for civil rights of doctors..When the Court asked Dutta whether he was saying that Baba Ramdev was causing harm to the public, the lawyer replied,"It is affecting the members of the plaintiff...the statements made in open affect...he's calling doctors names. He's saying this science is fake. In a pandemic...".Dutta went on to state that Ramdev was falsely representing Coronil as a cure for COVID-19. The Court, however, replied,"I don't think your allopathic profession is so fragile."."Let's assume what he has said is wrong, misleading, mischievous...therefore I understand it is a statement affecting the general public. There is a provision under CPC. Suit under Public interest can't be filed except under Section 95 CPC," the Court further pointed out, stating that the association could have filed a PIL instead..Dutta then pointed out that the Central government had made a statement that Coronil was not a cure for COVID-19 and could not be advertised as such. He also said that Ramdev later clarified that it was an immunity booster. The Court replied,"So he has clarified. He is entitled to do it. Your entire grievance is gone...he says it is immunity booster.".Dutta claimed that Patanjail had made Rs 25 crore from Coronil sales, after it was touted as a cure for COVID-19. The Court then queried,"Is he to be blamed for people buying Coronil?" "He has a vast following in the country," Dutta replied."So are holding a brief for the vast uneducated millions of the country who are in trap of D1 (Ramdev)?".Suggesting that the plaintiff association file a PIL, the Court said that it had restraints to hear matters under Section 91 CPC..Dutta and Advocate Ankur Mahindro then invited the Court's attention to videos and statements made by Ramdev."He's saying lakhs of people have died because of allopathic medicines given by doctors...he says we are stupid...that it is an insolvent science...at this juncture? We're curing lakhs of people. We are calling warriors today. 600 have died," Dutta said..The Court went on to state that any case founded on a pray to block statements must be tested on the anvil of Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to freedom of speech and expression."Ramdev is a person...he doesn't have faith is allopathy. He believes everything can be cured by Yoga and Ayurveda. He may be right or wrong," said the Court..Justice Hari Shankar further said that the Court cannot say as to whether Coronil is a cure or not, and that it was something to be decided by medical experts.The judge also said that he was "least concerned" with the argument that Ramdev was a powerful person with a large following..Dutta went on to press for interim relief, seeking that Ramdev be restrained from directly or indirectly publishing offending material, and that he be made to tender an unconditional apology. He also sought a declaration that Coronil doesn't work as a cure for COVID-19, pointing out that the Ministry of Ayush has already said so.However, the Court said,"Ministry does not say so. It has not given any finding...So far as I know, to give a declaration...it is an extremely involved process. It will require extensive study and research.".Appearing for Ramdev, Senior Advocate Rajiv Nayar raised the issue of maintainability of the suit."Entire framework is on Section 91...it is their own case is that it is intended for public good...I'm raising preliminary objection of maintainability."He further stated that Ramdev had retracted his statements on May 22."Then tell your client to not make any statements," the Court said.Nayar asked the Court not to make this part of the order. Justice Hari Shankar then said,"I've no objection to him making statements on Coronil...Mr Nayar is a very respectable senior. I'm sure his client will listen to him.".Ultimately, the Court said that it would issue notice in the matter. The suit will be listed for maintainability in three weeks' time.