SG defends Baba Ramdev in Supreme Court

New Delhi (| In a contempt case against Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishna regarding the criticism of Allopathy medicine, Solicitor General of India (SG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Union of India, on Tuesday argued that Allopathy is not beyond criticism and that a person cannot be stopped from saying that Ayurveda is more efficient.
A division bench, comprising Justices Hima Kholi and Ahsanuddin Amanullah, was hearing a writ petition filed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), wherein by an order dated February 27, Patanjali Ayurved was restrained from advertising or branding some of the products manufactured and marketed by it that are meant to address ailments / diseases / conditions mentioned under the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act and the Rules.
The top court had issued notice to Acharya Balakrishna and Baba Ramdev to show cause as to why action should not be taken against them for Contempt of Court.
Senior advocate P S Patwalia appeared for the petitioner IMA, senior advocate Vipin Sanghi appeared for Acharya Balakrishna, senior advocate Balbir Singh appeared for Baba Ramdev.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, along with additional Solicitor General K M Nataraj, appeared for the Union of India.
Justice Kholi remarked, “Disparaging the other fields of medicine in the manner that has been done by the Contemnors, we are using the words ‘proposed Contemnors’ is most unacceptable.”
The SG responded, “My Lord! What I have seen is the relief part (of IMA’s Writ Petition).”
Justice Amanullah said, “I have seen the transcript (of speech by Baba Ramdev) mocking, testing….”
Tushar Mehta then said, “Kindly also look at it from this angle, relief No 3, the Indian Medical Association says that there can never be a criticism of Allopathy.”
“I am not on this matter. There can be criticism of Allopathy. A person can say that Ayurveda is, he may be right or wrong, more efficient. Allopathy, internally, they criticise each other,” Mehta noted.
Justice Kholi agreed that there can be criticism of all streams of medicine.
“What used to be true 20 years back is not now… There are people who believe only in Homoeopathy. There may be doctors who say that Homoeopathy is not a medicine. This debate cannot be (stopped),” SG Mehta continued.
Justice Kholi said, “That’s okay. We will examine the parameters of their reliefs at a later stage.”
He continued, “Mr Mehta, we have observed that he (Ramdev) has done a very good job for yoga. Let him do a good job,” Justice Amanullah remarked.
“I would not like to forget (Baba Ramdev’s contributions),” the SG submitted.
To this, Justice Kholi said, “If you remember, Mr Mehta, the order dispensed with their presence initially, for the same reason.”
The SG thanked the court for being accommodating and said, “ Therefore, I ventured to say that let us sit together and come back to your Lordships.”
Justice Kholi said, “Coming from you, we will respect it. We will give a date, but we are making it clear to the Contemnors, that we think they are taking the process and the court procedures too lightly. If they continue in that stream, they will be pushing themselves.”
Tushar Mehta agreed with the Court on the delay in filing affidavits by the respondents.
The bench, while posting the matter for further hearing on April 10, directed both Ramdev and Balakrishna to remain present before it on the next date. (UNI)