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SC Unhappy over IMA Criticism of its Functioning

SC Unhappy over IMA Criticism of its Functioning

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NEW DELHI, Apr 30: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has also come to the notice of the Supreme Court or its critical remarks against the apex court along with the Patanjali Ayurved and its promoters who faced contempt of court proceedings for their publicly denouncing allopathy system of medicine.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said the today said that Patanjali Ayurved has made an “improvement” by mentioning its co-founder Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev’s name in its apology over misleading advertisements.

“There has been a marked improvement. There was only Patanjali earlier, now there are names. We appreciate that. They have understood,” a bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah said after examining the public apology issued by Patanjali Ayurved. The top court asked Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna to file on record the original page of each newspaper in which public apology was issued.

The bench also took stern exception to comments made by the IMA President RV Asokan in an interview with the news agency PTI. The remarks were flagged by Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi who represented Patanjali Ayurved in the court.

The bench then asked Mukul Rohatgi to bring the IMA Director’s interview with PTI on record. “Bring it on record. This will be more serious than what has been happening till now. Be prepared for more serious consequences,” said Justice Amanullah. “You have not covered yourself with glory and how can you decide what the court will do, if this is correct,” the bench told IMA’s counsel.

The IMA President had told the PTI that it was “unfortunate” that the Supreme Court criticised the IMA and the practices of private doctors. “We sincerely believe they need to look at what was the material before them. They 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,” Dr Asokan had said while replying to a query about the Supreme Court’s observation in its hearing on April 23 that when it was pointing one finger at Patanjali, the remaining four fingers were pointed towards IMA.

The Supreme Court then turned to the Uttarakhand State Licensing Authority for inaction in the case. Expressing dissatisfaction over the explanation offered by the body, the top court observed it appeared that the licensing authority took action in accordance with the law only after the apex court’s April 10 order. On April 10, the court tore into the Uttarakhand licensing authority for not acting against Patanjali for so long.

On February 27, the top court had directed Patanjali Ayurved to stop all electronic and print advertisements of its medicines giving misleading” information with immediate effect. The case began in November last year when the Supreme Court, while hearing a petition filed by IMA, cautioned Patanjali Ayurved against making “false” and “misleading” claims in advertisements about its medicines.

The IMA had referred to several advertisements which allegedly projected the allopathy and the doctors in poor light, saying that “disparaging” statements have also been made by firms, engaged in the production of ayurvedic medicines, to mislead the general public.

(Manas Dasgupta)


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