Supreme Court warns IMA chief over remarks on Patanjali case proceedings

The Supreme Court today warned the Indian Medical Association (IMA) chief over his remarks against the court proceedings in a case related to misleading ads by Baba Ramdev's Patanjali Ayurved.

A bench comprising Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah took exception to IMA president's remarks that it was unfortunate that the top court criticised IMA and also the practices of private doctors. Reacting to this, the bench warned IMA’s counsel to be prepared for far more serious consequences. 

The top court further 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. The Senior Advocate sought to highlight the news items quoting the IMA president, saying that the comments on the court proceedings are unfortunate and disturbing. 

Considering Senior Advocate Rohatgi’s submission, the bench told IMA counsel that this would be the most serious thing than they have been doing till now. The bench remarked that the IMA’s counsel have to explain how they decide in what way the court should be moving ahead in their proceedings.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi said such irresponsible statements are being made when proceedings are going on and the matter is subjudice. Subsequently, the bench remarked that they will deal with the issues separately. The court allowed Patanjali’s counsel to file an application in this regard within two days. The Supreme Court scheduled the matter for further consideration on May 7.

The IMA chief was quoted as saying in various news reports that it was unfortunate that the Supreme Court criticised IMA and also the practices of private doctors. He claimed that the vague and generalised statements have demoralised private doctors. He added that they believe that the apex court needs to look at what was the material before them. He claimed that perhaps the Supreme Court did not consider that this was not the issue before them.

During the Patanjali case hearing, the Supreme Court on April 23 pulled up IMA over unethical activities of prescribing overpriced medicines for consideration by their members. The IMA has lodged a plea against Baba Ramdev for advertisements of medicine for curing various diseases and criticising allopathy.