A local court in Maharashtra's Pune district has asked the police to file a report in connection with a complaint lodged against yoga guru Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishna, alleging that they had made false claims that Patanjali's product 'Coronil' can cure coronavirus.
The complaint was filed by advocate Madan Kurhe before the court of chief judicial magistrate first class in Junnar in July 2020.
Judicial magistrate (first class) P V Sapkal in his order has asked the Junnar police station to file a report in this case by February 7. "It appears from the record that the accused are residing at a place beyond the jurisdiction of this court, therefore, it is necessary to postpone the issue of process against the alleged accused and considering the nature of offence, to give direction to the concerned police station for investigation about the incident for the purpose of deciding whether or not there is sufficient ground to proceed further," the judge stated in the order.
The order further stated that the concerned officer of Junnar police station is directed to file his report under section 202 of CrPC (postponement of issue of the process) to this court on or before February 7.
Kurhe, in the complaint, had claimed that Patanjali's founder Ramdev and managing director Balkrishna had announced to the media that they have developed 100 per cent cure for the COVID-19 through their products Coronil' and Swasari.
"The ministry of Ayush had responded and asked Patanjali to refrain from publicising or selling the medicines until proper verification," the complaint stated.
The complainant further stated that publication of unilateral claims about the discovery of COVID-19 cure, before due verification and approval by statutory authorities, would fall within the ambit of "false claims". The accused collectively, with common criminal intention, presented and publicised Patanjali medicine and have already committed several legal violations by publicising the drug without due verification, he alleged.
The complaint had stated that when the world is going through panic due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was highly irresponsible, illegal on the part of the accused and their company to promote false hopes amongst people with the only objective of doing business.
The complaint was filed under sections 420 (cheating), 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy), 270 (malignantly do any act which is likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life) of the IPC, and relevant sections of Drug and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act.