New Delhi, July 5 : The Supreme Court on Monday stepped-in as counsels for Baba Ramdev and doctors’ body had heated argument, on former’s plea seeking a stay on proceedings in connection with multiple FIRs lodged over his alleged remarks against the use of allopathic medicines during the COVID pandemic.
A bench comprising Chief Justice N.V. Ramana, justices A.S. Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy noted that the court had received material connected with the case at around 11 p.m. on Sunday night. “We got bulky files having copies of statements and videos”, said the bench.
The apex court was scheduled to examine on Monday, the original records of Ramdev’s statement on the use of allopathic medicine following his plea to stay investigation and transfer the cases against him to Delhi.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Ramdev, requested the bench to hear the matter on Friday. Senior advocate Rajiv Dutta, appearing for Delhi Medical Association (DMA), which has filed an impleadment application in the matter submitted that his client has created a chart citing all statements made by Ramdev. DMA has called Ramdev a “businessman” clad as a “yoga guru” and claimed that he does not have any degree or license to practice Ayurveda and prescribe medicines.
The bench said: “we are not doing anything. We are posting it for next week.” Senior advocate P.S. Patwalia, representing the Indian Medical Association and one of the respondents in the matter, submitted that his client has also filed all extracts of Ramdev’s statement in its application.
At this juncture of the hearing, Rohatgi opposed the application, and said, “They have no role in filing all this”. Dutta rebutted, “Don’t say, we have no role. What you are stating (in the petition) is all false”. The bench intervened, “Don’t quarrel”. The bench said it may take up the matter on July 12.
Ramdev alleged that the IMA has unleashed barrage of cases, civil and criminal, against him via its different chapters in the country.
On June 30, Rohatgi had submitted that FIRs have been filed in different parts of the country against his client, and urged the court to club these FIRs, and have a single case in Delhi. He added that his client had launched Coronil for Covid last year, and all the doctors went against him.
The bench had asked Rohatgi, “what is the original thing that you spoke?” He had responded, “I will file original video and transcript”. After hearing arguments, the top court had scheduled the matter for further hearing on July 12.
In the plea, Ramdev sought transfer of FIRs lodged by IMA in Patna and Raipur to Delhi. He has been booked under Sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (negligent act likely to transmit infection of disease dangerous to life), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) of the IPC and other provisions of Disaster Management Act, 2005.
The voluntary body of doctors accused him of spreading false information in connection with the Allopathic treatment for Covid patients. On May 23, Ramdev had withdrawn his statements on Allopathic medicine after receiving a strong-worded letter from Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, who termed his remarks as “inappropriate”.