Claims made without approval from Ayush Ministry
Police have registered a First Information Report against yoga guru Ramdev and four others for allegedly conspiring to sell a fake Ayurveda medicine with the misleading claim to cure COVID-19 following clinical trials on some patients. The FIR said the claim had been made without getting the Union AYUSH Ministry’s approval.
The others named in the FIR were Acharya Balkrishna CEO of Ramdev-promoted Patanajali Ayurveda Limited, Patanjali employee Anurag Varshney, and Balvir Singh Tomar and Anurag Singh Tomar, chairman and director, respectively, of the National Institute of Medical Sciences & Research (NIMS).
Patanjali Ayurveda had recently launched a drug, Coronil, with the claim that it could cure COVID-19. The herbal products company said the medicine’s clinical trials were conducted on positive patients in association with NIMS, a private institute situated near Jaipur.
The FIR was registered at Jyoti Nagar police station in Jaipur on Saturday on the basis of a complaint made by some individuals, including a lawyer, Balbir Jakhar. The five persons were booked under Section 420 (cheating) of Indian Penal Code and Sections 4 and 7 of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954.
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Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Gupta said on Sunday that multiple complaints against Mr. Ramdev had been received for claiming to have developed the medicine without any trial. No arrests have been made in the case so far.
Mr. Jakhar said in his complaint that the accused had put the lives of common people at risk and neither the Centre nor the Rajasthan government had been informed about the clinical trials of Coronil. Patanjali Ayurveda, on the other hand, had claimed that it had complied with all legal formalities.
The Union AYUSH Ministry has since sought details about the medicine and directed Patanjali Ayurveda to stop advertising the claim about the cure of COVID-19. Rajasthan Medical & Health Minister Raghu Sharma has said action would be taken if any attempt to was made to sell a purported Ayurveda drug as potential medicine for COVID-19 patients in the State.
With inputs from The Hindu