Pune: Proceedings in the matter of private complaint filed against Patanjali CEO Acharya Balkrishna and Trustee Yoga Guru Ramdev Baba - in connection with the launch of Coronil medicine as a cure for COVID-19 - began in the Junnar taluka court on Tuesday (July 21) through video conferencing. The litigants have claimed that it was the first instance of such video conference based hearing to be conducted at a taluka level court in Maharashtra. The next hearing, in this case, will be conducted on July 29.
Madan Kurhe, a law student, through Advocate Aseem Sarode has filed a private complaint against Ramdev Baba and Balkrishna. According to the complaint, it has been alleged that Patanjali did not get clearance and permission from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and AYUSH ministry to launch Coronil medicine as a cure for COVID-19, but still, the duo held a press conference and claimed to do so.
Adv Sarode said, "Sale of Coronil or any medicine sans approval of the ICMR is an offence and the Junnar court has the jurisdiction and powers to conduct hearings on this matter. Thus the court should take serious cognizance of the matter and order an inquiry into it."
Before the hearing, Adv Sarode had requested permission from the Junnar court to conduct the hearing through video conferencing or WhatsApp call. However, the Junnar court declined their request.
Miffed over this, Adv Sarode contacted the Principal District Judge Neeraj Dhote of Shivajinagar District and Sessions Court in Pune. Advocate Sarode asked whether, during a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, it is justified to demand lawyers to be present in person for court hearings. Following which, Dhote accepted Sarode's request and asked the Junnar court to conduct the hearing through video conferencing.
After Principal District Judge Dhote's intervention, the court of Judicial Magistrate (First Class) A M Kulkarni agreed to conduct the proceedings. While arguing before the court, Adv Sarode demanded that an inquiry should be initiated into the matter against Ramdev Baba and Balkrishna.