A complaint has been filed in a Bihar court against yoga guru Ramdev and Patanjali Ayurved’s MD Acharya Balkrishna, alleging that they have misled and put at risk the lives of lakhs of people by claiming to have developed a medicine to treat COVID-19.
The court has posted the matter for hearing on June 30.
The move comes a day after Patanjali claimed to have discovered cure for coronavirus but no medical authority could immediately vouch for the claim of Coronil and Swasari medicine curing the highly contagious disease within seven days.
The firm claimed that the two Ayurveda-based medicines have shown 100 per cent favourable results during clinical trials on COVID-19 infected patients except those on a life support system.
However, the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) has asked Patanjali to stop advertising and publicising its claims about the medicine until further authorisation takes place.
The complaint seeking registration of an FIR on cheating, criminal conspiracy, and other charges was filed in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Mukesh Kumar in Bihar on Tuesday (June 23) by Tamanna Hashmi, who identifies himself as a social worker and is often in news for his numerous court complaints against politicians over various issues.
The complainant has named Ramdev, the convenor of the Patanjali Research Institute, and his aide Balkrishna, the organisation’s chairman, as accused.
Hashmi submitted that Ramdev and Balkrishna claimed to have prepared “Coronil tablet” to cure COVID-19, which is nothing but misleading.
The complainant has sought registration of a case under IPC sections 420 (cheating and dishonesty inducing delivery of property), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), among others.
Patanjali Ayurved Ltd, the company promoted by yoga guru Ramdev, did not mention it was developing a drug for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while applying for a license, an official of the Uttarakhand government said, news agency ANI reported on Wednesday.
“As per Patanjali’s application, we issued them a license. They didn’t mention coronavirus. We only approved the license for immunity booster, cough and fever,” a licensing officer of the state’s Ayurveda department was quoted as saying by ANI.
The AYUSH ministry said that the facts of the claim and details of the stated scientific study, and details of the composition of the ayurvedic medicine are not known to it. It has sought from the company a detailed report on composition, testing, and other data of the drugs.
AYUSH minister Shripad Naik said that Patanjali’s drugs will be authorised only after the government looks into the report sent by the company.
The ministry also used powers under a 1954 law to ask the firm to “stop advertising/publicizing” claims of corona cure drug until the issue is examined by it.
A government notification bars companies from advertising a cure without government approval. But it wasn’t immediately clear if the drug can still be sold.
Ramdev said the medicines have been developed by Patanjali Research Center, Haridwar, and privately-owned National Institute of Medical Science, Jaipur following all protocols with clinically controlled trial-based evidence.
Patanjali group has an estimated turnover of around ₹10,500 crore.