Police to probe complaint against Patanjali's Baba Ramdev, Acharya Balkrishna for claiming Coronil as COVID-19 cure : Pune Court

  • Ratna Singh
  • 11:10 AM, 07 Jan 2022

On Thursday, a Pune Court (Maharashtra) has ordered the police to investigate a criminal complaint against the yoga guru Baba Ramdev and his business associate Acharya Balkrishna,Chairman of the Patanjali Ayurved, for their claims on their Covid-19 cure medicine 'Coronil'.

The Junnar Court's Judicial Magistrate First Class P. V. Sapakal was hearing a private criminal plea lodged by a student-activist Madan Kurhe way back in June 2020, after the company had announced the purported cure to the deadly virus raging across the globe.He directed the Junnar Police Station to conduct a probe under the CrPC's Section 202 and submit its report to the court by February 7.

"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 Cr.P.C. to this court on or before 07/02/2022," ordered the judge.

In the complaint, the complainant had questioned Baba Ramdev and Patanjali Ayurved's allegedly "illegal and false claims" in public about the purported medicine, 'Coronil' and trumpeting it as a cure for coronavirus.

This was the first case filed during the height of the Covid pandemic lockdown period against Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna and their company in Maharashtra, for their allegedly misleading and bizarre claims pertaining to Coronil, which was touted as a "100 percent cure" medicine.

Kurhe had stated in his complaint that on June 24, 2020, when the country was under the first wave of the pandemic, he saw advertisements, reports, interviews of Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna claiming how they had developed an Ayurvedic cure for Covid-19, and contended that the Covid-19 symptomatic patients reportedly become asymptomatic within 3-15 days after consuming the ayurvedic formulation, which had been tested in clinical trials in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Gujarat.

The counsel Asim Sarode pointed out before that on April 21, 2020, the Centre's AYUSH Ministry had taken strong cognisance of all types of fly-by-night companies promising magical remedies for Covid-19 and banned them from publicising or selling their alleged cures to the gullible masses without proper clinical evaluations.

Following the uproar over Baba Ramdev's claims, the ICMR and the AYUSH Ministry stepped in by countering Patanjali Ayurved's claims of having conducted clinical trials on its new Ayurvedic products, 'Coronil' and 'Swasari'.

"When the country was tottering under a major health crisis and the Coronavirus pandemic, such false claims were made only with the intention to earn money from the fear-stricken people of India," argued Sarode.

The magistrate stated that although the media events of Baba Ramdev took place in Delhi which was out of the jurisdiction of the Junnar court, but considering the nature of the offences, the police would investigate the case before concluding if there is need to proceed further in the matter.

Further, the Delhi High Court also on thursday issued summons to yoga guru Ramdev on a suit by Delhi Medical Association (DMA) seeking to restrain him from disseminating false information about Patanjali's Coronil kit that it is a cure for COVID-19.

The high court orally asked the counsel for Ramdev to tell him not to make any provocative statement till the next date of hearing on July 13 and respond to the suit.