Homoeopathy effective, but let Centre handle Covid cases: Delhi HC

In a plea seeking homoeopathic treatment of mild cases of Covid-19, Delhi HC recently held that though homoeopathy is effective, medical protocol to deal with pandemic cases should always be left to the government’s discretion.

A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad in its November 1 judgment held that the “decision of the government in such scenarios is based upon expert opinions and the experts are certainly the masters of the field”.It also noted that Central Government through various expert bodies framed guidelines and issued medical protocols for curbing infection rate.

The HC therefore held, “expert bodies like ICMR and other statutory bodies are the best judge of medical protocol. It is not for the courts to comment on medical protocols framed on the subject…” Observing that Covid-19 infections have almost come to an end, HC did not find reason to allow the relief. The court said the petitioners, two homoeopathy practitioners, can go ahead with research in accordance with law.

The petitioners moved HC in 2020 seeking direction to Ministry of AYUSH to notify “Arsenicum album Phosphorus Tuberculinum in series intervention protocol” for Covid. They further sought directions from the Centre to allow homoeopathy practitioners to treat mild cases of Covid-19 using homeopathic medicines, and for severe cases to critical cases as add-on therapy with allopathic medicine in hospitals if desired by the patient.

The plea further sought a direction to the Ministry of AYUSH to undertake the clinical trial on “Arsenicum album – Phosphorus – Tuberculinum (APT) in series intervention protocol” immediately and to complete it within a fixed time frame.

The Ministry on April 21, 2020 had notified facilitation of research of any recognized system of medicine under the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970, the Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973 and the National Medical Commission Act, 2019. It was argued that the practitioners were well aware of the notification, and their proposed trial was principally approved, however instead of initiating trials after getting approval from state authorities they started approaching members of the Central Council for Research in Homeopathy under the Ministry. CCRH said that petitioners did not carry out the trial and now want a “blanket order” with respect to it which is impermissible in law.

The HC agreed with the CCRH that the practitioners had not been prevented by any authority to conduct research, clinical trials and obtain the necessary permission required under the law.

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