The Delhi High Court on Thursday said it will hear on October 6 a lawsuit by several doctors' associations against Ramdev over the use of Coronil and asked the yoga teacher to respond to the associations' plea contending that the pendency of allegedly similar issues before the Supreme Court should not stall the proceedings here.
Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani issued notice to the defendants -- Ramdev, Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd, and others on the plaintiffs' (associations) application and said, "I will give you some time. We will have to go through the writ petition (pending before the Supreme Court). I will give you a brief hearing on another date."
"The plaintiffs seek clarification of an order dated August 26, in essence, submitting that the direction contained in the order should not prevent the further hearing of this part-heard matter. Issue notice. Let reply to the application be filed before the next date," the court ordered.
Several doctors' associations moved the high court last year, alleging that Ramdev was misleading and misrepresenting to the public at large that allopathy was responsible for the deaths of several people infected by COVID-19 while claiming that Patanjali's Coronil was a cure for the virus.
Senior counsel Akhil Sibal, appearing for the plaintiffs, argued that when "nobody can control the timeline there and dates are generated by a computer in Supreme Court", the high court proceedings should not be stalled on account of the Supreme Court case by another entity.
Senior counsel Inderbir Singh, appearing for Patanjali -- one of the defendants, said that it has already filed an application before the top court to bring to its notice the existence of the present proceedings and the same is likely to be listed soon.
On August 26, the court had orally observed that judicial propriety and discipline demanded that proceedings before it should be restrained until there is "some clarity" concerning the pendency of allegedly similar issues before the Supreme Court.
It had thus asked that a copy of the petition by the Indian Medical Association pending before the Supreme Court be placed before it while directing Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd, which was stated to be a party in the proceedings there, to file an appropriate application there bringing to notice the pendency of the present proceedings and to obtain appropriate orders.
Three Resident Doctors' Association of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences at Rishikesh, Patna, and Bhubaneshwar as well as 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 had moved the high court last year against Ramdev and others.
In their plea filed through advocate Harshavardhan Kotla, the associations had submitted that the yoga guru, who is a highly influential person, was sowing doubts in the minds of the general public concerning the safety and efficacy of not only allopathic treatments but also COVID-19 vaccines.
The plea alleged that the misinformation campaign was nothing but an advertisement and marketing strategy to further the sales of the product sold by Ramdev, including Coronil which claims to be an alternative treatment for COVID-19.
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