The Supreme Court on Monday sought the response of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the Central, Bihar and Chhattisgarh governments to a plea filed by yoga guru and Patanjali ambassador, Baba Ramdev against the multiple cases filed against him for adverse remarks on the use of modern or allopathic medicine for COVID-19 treatment.
A bench of Justices AS Bopanna and MM Sundresh issued notice after hearing Ramdev's counsel, Senior Advocate Siddhartha Dave.
Ramdev moved the Supreme Court in 2021 seeking a stay on the proceedings in multiple cases lodged against him in various States over his remarks on allopathy, by which he criticised doctors over the treatment protocol for COVID-19.
Ramdev sought a stay on the proceedings in first information reports (FIRs) lodged by the IMA, through its Patna and Raipur branches, and asked for a transfer of the FIRs to a Delhi court.
Ramdev has been booked under Sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of the Indian Penal Code.
As per the IMA complaint, over the course of the pandemic, Ramdev had allegedly been propagating false information on social media against medicines being used by medical fraternity, the government of India, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and other frontline organisations involved in the treatment of the coronavirus.
The IMA, in an interloctury application in the instant case, stressed that it was not a single incident but multiple incidents on which statements were made by Ramdev, all of which are different causes of action.
"The Petitioner, by his conduct, has demonstrated that even during such unprecedented devastation leashed by the Pandemic, the Petitioner is interested only in misleading the common man for making monetary benefits. The Petitioner has ... ridiculed and jeered hapless citizens who had to run from pillar to post for seeking oxygen cylinders during the second wave and the thousands of people who died due to shortage of oxygen."
Therefore, the body stressed that Ramdev does not deserve any indulgence.
On a related note, while hearing a plea by the IMA against Ramdev in August last year, the Supreme Court had questioned the yoga guru on his attempt to discredit allopathy and its practicing doctors during the COVID-19 pandemic.