'You have not covered yourself with glory': SC takes serious view of comments by IMA chief in proceedings against Baba Ramdev

Rohatgi sought to highlight the news items quoting the IMA president, saying those are "unfortunate" and "disturbing" comments on the court proceedings.
shish Tripathi
Last Updated : 30 April 2024, 09:03 IST
Last Updated : 30 April 2024, 09:03 IST

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday took a serious view of the comments made by Indian Medical Association president for his remarks against the court proceedings arising out of misleading advertisements by Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev's companies.

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah allowed senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Baba Ramdev, to bring on record the press statement made by Dr R V Asokan, current IMA president in the matter.

Rohatgi sought to highlight the news items quoting the IMA president, saying those are "unfortunate" and "disturbing" comments on the court proceedings.

Responding to Rohatgi's submission, the bench told IMA counsel, "This would be the most serious thing than we have been doing till now... be prepared for consequences."

"You have not covered yourself with glory. You will have to explain... How would you decide in what way should we be moving ahead in our proceedings," the bench orally told the IMA counsel.

"We will deal with this issue separately," the bench said allowing Rohatgi to file an application in this regard within two days. The court fixed the matter for consideration on May 7.

Asokan was quoted as saying in news report that it was "unfortunate" that the Supreme Court criticised IMA and also the practices of private doctors. The "vague and generalised statements" have demoralised private doctors, he claimed.

"We sincerely believe they (SC) need to look at what was the material before them. They (SC) perhaps did not consider that this was not the issue that was before them in the court... It does not behove the Supreme Court to take a broadside against the medical profession of the country which after all sacrificed so many lives for the Covid war," he was quoted.

On April 23, the court had turned the table against the petitioner India Medical Association over "unethical activities of prescribing overpriced medicines for consideration" by their members.

"The petitioner IMA needs to put its house in order," the bench had said.

IMA has filed the plea against Baba Ramdev for advertisements of medicine of curing various diseases and criticising allopathy.

In a related development, the court allowed Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna facing contempt proceedings to file the newspapers highlighting the public apology made with regard to their conducts.

The court also took exception to an affidavit by the Uttarakhand Licencing Authority headed by Joint Director Mithilesh Kumar, saying he had taken against Patanjali Ayurved and Divya Pharmacy founded by Baba Ramdev after the court's order of April 10.

Uttarakhand State Licensing Authority had earlier informed the Supreme Court that it has on April 15 issued orders to Divya Pharmacy and Patanjali Ayurved Ltd, suspending their manufacturing licences for 14 of their products with immediate effect.

"Why have you said you are taking action on direction of this court. We told you to do it suo motu on your own, you are playing smart, don't put it our shoulders," the bench said.

"We express our dissatisfaction particularly with the statement that the authorities got activated to action after April 10 order," the bench said.

On a request made by the current officers and five of his predecessors, the bench allowed them to file fresh affidavits.

"We are pained with the use of words... when you know you have nothing to fight and you are already in a corner. Be careful, every word counts, we don't have any machine to measure on your heart... We won't be biased... have trust on court," the bench said.

The court fixed the matter for consideration on May 14.

Published 30 April 2024, 09:03 IST

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