A Maharashtra court has directed the police to initiate a preliminary probe against Patanjali Ayurved founders Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna over their claims about Cornoil tablet as a cure for COVID-19.
The Court was taking cognisance of a private criminal case against Baba Ramdev for publicly making ‘illegal and false’ claims that Patanjali had invented a medicine, Coronil, which can cure Covid-19. The complaint filed through advocate Asim Sarode alleged that making such false claims during the health crisis triggered by the Coronavirus pandemic, was done only with an aim to earn money from Indian citizens living in fear.
Judge P.V Sapkal of the Judicial Magistrate First Class court in Junnar taluk directed the Junnar Police to ascertain whether there are sufficient grounds to proceed against the two based on a complaint filed by one Madan Kurhe,
“It appears from the record that accused are residing at a place beyond the jurisdiction of this court, therefore, it is necessary to postpone the issue of process against the alleged the accused and considering the nature of offence, to give direction to the concern Police Station, for investigation about incident for the purpose of deciding whether or not there is sufficient ground to proceed further. Therefore, concerned Officer of Junnar Police Station is directed to file his report under section 202 of CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) to this court on or before 07/02/2022.” the Court ordered.
Patanjali’s founder Ramdev and Managing Director Balkrishnan had in 2020 announced that they have developed a cure for COVID-19 through the Coronil and Swasari medicines.
It is a classic case to make everyone realise that no one is above the law and has to use the freedom of expression with restrictions and responsibilities, the complaint stated.
The complaint alleged offences under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating and dishonest delivery), 270 (act to spread dangerous disease), 504 (peace-breaching insult) and 34 (criminal act by several for common intention) of the Indian Penal Code read with Sections 3,4 & 5 of Drugs & Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act 1954.
This is not the first time that Baba Ramdev has got into legal trouble over his claims on Coronil.
Last October, the Delhi High Court issued summons to Baba Ramdev on a lawsuit by several doctors’ associations for allegedly spreading misinformation against Allopathy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In June last year, the Delhi High court 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.