SC seeks status of criminal cases against Ramdev in Bihar, Chhattisgarh | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

SC seeks status of criminal cases against Ramdev in Bihar, Chhattisgarh

ByAbraham Thomas
Apr 19, 2024 04:13 PM IST

Ramdev moved the Supreme Court seeking clubbing of the cases filed against him for his remarks against the allopathic cure for Covid-19

The Supreme Court on Friday sought the status of criminal cases pending against Baba Ramdev in Bihar and Chhattisgarh since 2021 over his remarks against the allopathic cure for Covid-19 while posting his petition for clubbing them for hearing in July.

Baba Ramdev appeared in the Supreme Court in the misleading advertisement case on Wednesday. (ANI)
Baba Ramdev appeared in the Supreme Court in the misleading advertisement case on Wednesday. (ANI)

“Charge sheets would have been filed by now. If this prayer [for clubbing] has to be considered, we need to know the status of these cases,” said a bench of justices MM Sundresh and PB Varale.

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Ramdev moved the court seeking clubbing of the cases and holding the trial in Delhi. Bihar and Chhattisgarh units of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) filed the cases.

IMA was represented in court, but the bench directed its two state units to be added as parties to Ramdev’s petition. In an affidavit filed in the court, IMA opposed the plea for clubbing the cases. It referred to the other proceedings pending over alleged contempt against Ramdev and Patanjali Ayurved for violating an undertaking given to the court prohibiting them from issuing misleading advertisements.

IMA accused Ramdev of showing complete disdain for the rule of law. “...does not deserve any indulgence by this court in [the] exercise of its extraordinary and equitable jurisdiction...The present writ petition deserves to be rejected...,” IMA said. “During the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the petitioner, motivated by a purely commercial objective, indulged in not only unlawful but also extremely unethical and irresponsible conduct, by misleading people, and seeking to create vaccine hesitancy amongst the gullible and desperate common man.”

IMA referred to Ramdev’s press conference in June 2020 about Coronil for curing Covid-19. It said the Union government asked Patanjali not to make such false claims. The affidavit referred to instances where Ramdev spread rumours about Covid vaccine and mocked people struggling for oxygen during the Covid-19 wave. IMA objected to the transfer of cases to Delhi arguing no criminal case has been filed in the Capital

Senior advocate Siddharth Dave, who appeared for Ramdev, objected to the IMA affidavit. Solicitor-general Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Union government, told the court that he has a serious objection to IMA being heard. “We cannot have strangers to a proceeding to be given a say. The petition for clubbing is between the complainant and the accused. We have serious objection to IMA as they are opposed to Ayurveda.”

Advocate Prabhas Bajaj, who represented IMA, told the court the state units of the association are autonomous bodies and need to be heard before any order is passed. He added IMA was appearing in this case as it has been named as a party in the petition and notice was issued to it in October 2023.

Ramdev was booked in Bihar and Chhattisgarh under the Indian Penal Code’s Section 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of peace), which is punishable with a maximum sentence of two years, 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection), 188 (disobedience to order of a public servant) and under the Disaster Management Act.

IMA state units filed the cases over a video Ramdev circulated on social media advising his followers not to rely on allopathy for Covid-19 treatment in May 2021. The IMA served him a defamation notice and demanded an apology. Ramdev later wrote a letter to the Union health minister saying he meant no ill will and had great regard for doctors.

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