Rajasthan cops charge Ramdev, Patanjali MD with cheating for Covid-19 drug

Ramdev with Acharya Balkrishna (right) at the launch of Coronil and Swasari in Haridwar on Tuesday. PHOTO: PTI

The Rajasthan Police on Saturday lodged an FIR against yoga guru Ramdev for allegedly launching an Ayurvedic drug for treating Covid-19 without regulatory approval, a senior officer said.

Four others MD of Ramdev-promoted Patanjali Ayurved Acharya Balkrishna; Director of National Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (NIMS), Jaipur, B S Tomar; his son Anurag Tomar; and senior scientist Anurag Varshney have also been named in the FIR, he said.

Haridwar-based Patanjali Ayurved on Tuesday launched "Coronil", claiming it can cure COVID-19. It said the drug, when taken with another Patanjali product, had cured all coronavirus positive patients who took part in a trial within seven days.

The trial, it said, was conducted in association with the NIMS, a Jaipur-based private institute.

Hours after the launch of the drug, the AYUSH ministry asked Patanjali Ayurved to provide details on the research leading up to it and its composition, telling the company to stop advertising it till the issue is examined.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ashok Gupta said a case has been registered against Ramdev and four others at the Jyoti Nagar police station in Jaipur on the basis of a complaint lodged by an advocate, Balram Jakhad.

He said multiple complaints were received against Ramdev at various police stations.

The five have been booked under Section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, according to police.

Complainant Jakhad said a press conference was organised in Haridwar wherein the accused claimed to have developed a medicine to treat coronavirus. The medicine has not been approved by the AYUSH ministry.

On Thursday, Patanjali Ayurved had claimed that it had complied with all legalities.

The licence for the drug was obtained on the basis of the traditional knowledge and experience related to the medicinal virtues of Ashwagandha, Giloy and Tulsi, Patanjali spokesperson S K Tijarawala had said.

No illegal claim has been made on the label of the medicine, he had said.

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