New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday held that when the entire world is engaged in research for a Covid-19 vaccine, no medical practitioner of any stream of medicine can claim that they can cure Covid-19.
A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan and comprising Justices R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah said: "When statutory regulations itself prohibited advertisements, there was no occasion for homeopathic and other medical practitioners to claim that they are competent to cure Covid-19 disease."
The top court did not agree with the Kerala High Court's direction that if any qualified doctor practising AYUSH medicine made any advertisement or prescribed any drugs or medicines, as a cure for Covid-19 disease, except as prescribed in the March 6 advisory, it was open for the authorities to take appropriate action under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
However, the apex court added that the High Court was correct in observing that no medical practitioner can claim that they can cure Covid-19.
The top court verdict came on an appeal filed by Dr A.K.B. Sadbhavana Mission School of Homeo Pharmacy challenging the Kerala High Court's August 21 verdict.
"When the scientists of the entire world are engaged in research to find out proper medicine/vaccine for Covid-19, there is no occasion for making any observation as with regard to homeopathic medical practitioners. Homeopathy does not cure the disease, but it cures the patients," the top court said.
The apex court also pointed out the Centre's guidelines clearly establish that homeopathy has been envisaged as therapeutic aid and is contemplated to be used in preventing and mitigating Covid-19 as reflected by the advisory and guidelines issued by the AYUSH Ministry.
The bench said as far as advertisement by homeopathic practitioners is concerned, it is clearly prohibited by the regulations framed in Section 33 read with Section 24 of Homeopathy Central Council Act, 1973.
"The High Court in its judgment has not fully comprehended the guidelines of March 6, 2020 and taking a restricted view of the guidelines and have made observations for taking appropriate actions against the homeopathic medical practitioners, which cannot be approved," the bench said.
The bench said it goes without saying that homeopathic medical practitioners have to follow the March 6 advisory issued by AYUSH Ministry.