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Summons issued to Baba Ramdev in doctors lawsuit over COVID misinformation claims

Summons issued to Baba Ramdev in doctors lawsuit over COVID misinformation claims
camera_altLeft to right: Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Baba Ramdev and Nitin Gadkari at the Coronil release function earlier this year (PTI)

The Delhi High Court has issued a summons notice for Baba Ramdev, the popular yoga guru and Patanjali brand owner in a lawsuit case pertaining to fake claims allegedly made by him maligning the institution of evidence-based healthcare and doctors treatment of Covid-19.

Justice C Hari Shankar granted four weeks to Ramdev to file his response to the suit. While the judge declined to issue any personal comment on the case he did note that the video clips submitted appeared to show that there was a 'definite case' being made. Earlier this week, the court had stated that the doctors' plea deserved consideration and could not be "thrown out" at the first stage as, at the present stage.

The lawsuit was filed by three Resident Doctors' Association of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences at Rishikesh, Patna and Bhubaneshwar and several others who have jointly alleged that Ramdev "sowed doubts" in the minds of the public regarding COVID treatment given at hospitals, medications prescribed by doctors and also made false claims that his own Patanjali branded medicine "Coronil" could cure Covid-19 despite it being licensed as an 'immuno-boosting' drug only.

Since Ramdev was so influential, his claims that modern medicine was killing patients and casting doubts on the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines was highly detrimental to helath and safety of the public the lawsuit filed earlier this year claims. 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 claimed the aggrieved doctors.

In February, the Indian Medical Association had sought an explanation from Health Minister Dr.Harsh Vardhan regarding his public endorsement of Coronil and the "shocking claims" made by Patanjali. In a statement, the IMA had written a scathing response to Patanjali's claims of 'WHO certified' products and lambasted the government for giving publicity to such 'blatant lies.'

In a statement, Patanjali had said: "Coronil has received the Certificate of Pharmaceutical Product (CoPP) from the Ayush section of Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation as per the WHO certification scheme." The World Health Organisation denied any knowledge of endorsing traditional medicine in a statement on Twitter.

On June 3 the court had issued summons to Ramdev on a separate plea by the Delhi Medical Association in connection with his alleged statements against allopathic medicines and claims regarding Patanjali's Coronil kit.

Summons were also issued to social media platforms Google, Facebook, and Twitter as well as Acharya Balkrishna and Patanjali Ayurveda.

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TAGS:BJPFake NewspatanjaliHealthIMAHarsh VardanNitin GadkariMisinformationBaba Ramdevcentral govtIndiaCovid-19VaccinationsCoronilCOVID misinformation
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