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"Shall Not Use IMA Platform For Promoting Any Religion": Delhi Court To IMA President In Suit Alleging Defamation Of Hindus By Promoting Christianity

Nupur Thapliyal
5 Jun 2021 7:30 AM GMT
Shall Not Use IMA Platform For Promoting Any Religion: Delhi Court To IMA President In Suit Alleging Defamation Of Hindus By Promoting Christianity
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"Majhab Nahi Sikhata Apas Mein Bair Rakhna; Hindi Hai Hum Watan Hai Hindustan Humara; Saare Jahan se Acha Hindustan Humara."- Delhi Court quoted Poet Mohd. Iqbal

A Delhi Court on Thursday asked the Indian Medical Association President, Dr. JA Jayalal to not use the IMA platform for propagating any religion and rather to concentrate on welfare of medical fraternity and observed that "saying Christianity and Allopathy are same and is a gift of western world would be the "most inaccurate assertion".The development came in a suit filed by one Rohit Jha...

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A Delhi Court on Thursday asked the Indian Medical Association President, Dr. JA Jayalal to not use the IMA platform for propagating any religion and rather to concentrate on welfare of medical fraternity and observed that "saying Christianity and Allopathy are same and is a gift of western world would be the "most inaccurate assertion".

The development came in a suit filed by one Rohit Jha who had alleged that Jayalal had started a defamatory campaign against Hindu religion by promoting Christianity in the garb of "proving superiority of Allopathic medicines over Ayurveda medicines" in covid treatment. Jha had placed reliance on a news article dated March 30, 2021 published in Nation World News along with the TV debate of Jayalal with Baba Ramdev on news channels recently.

Observing that it is the duty of every Indian to honor each other's religion, Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Goel observed thus:

"Nobody should over reach by allowing, by forcing, by creating such circumstances which imply forced consent or in a way attempt to lure. Saying Christianity and Allopathy are the same and is the gift by western world would be the most innaccurate assertion. Sushrata who was an Indian is considered God of Surgery and surgery is integral aspect of Allopathy."

Furthermore, the Court said "Any kind of unguarded or loose comment cannot be expected from anybody chairing the responsible post. IMA is prestigious institution whose aims and objectives are meant for the welfare of doctor and other related aspects. Such a platform cannot be used to propagate any individual's views on any religion."

It was Jha's case that Jayalal had "seriously disparaged and denigrated his reputation in the society being a Hindu" and averred that in order to convert the Hindus to Christian religion, is taking the umbrage of IMA by misusing his position as President of IMA and is therefore doing everything to mislead the nation and its citizens.

It was also prayed by Jha that IMA President must be directed not to write, speak in any media including electronic media, or publish in any manner or from any content/material which is defamatory to Hindu religion or to Ayurveda and not to further circulate the defamatory and scurrilous articles on social or electronic print media.

Further stating that IMA President wanted to use his position for Chirstian missionary activities, it was also argued by Jha that covid has become an opportunity for them to convert medical students, doctors and patients to Christianity. Furthermore, it was stated that Jayalal wants IMA to share the "lover of Jesus Christ and assure everyone that Jesus is the one to protect them personally".

Moreover, Jha also contended that with the help of family prayers and night prayers, Christians are now experiencing heaven and not materialistic world.

Showing an apprehension that Jha might have filed the suit "at the behest of RSS", it was submitted by IMA President that neither had he made any personal comment on Hinduism nor intended to do so. It was also stated that merely relating covid recovery with Jesus doesn't mean he had exerted regarding Christianity.

It was also submitted that any Hindu doctor or person can also say that such and such God of Hindus is helping the recovery of Covid-19 patients, and in the same manner, Parsi, Muslim, Sikh and Jews can also claim recovery due to their respective God.

Denying the allegations of there being any involvement with RSS, Jha stated that Modi Government believes in Ayurveda because of its cultural values and traditional belief in Hindutva and had submitted that Ayurveda, Greek, Homeopathy and Yoga etc. have their roots in Sanskrit, which is the language of Hindutva.

Hearing the aforesaid submissions, the Court observed that IMA President's article dated 30th March 2021 with 'Christian Today' was "not in good taste."

Quoting DY Chandrachud's observations in Navtej Johar case, the Court observed thus:

"Secularism is fundamental aspect of our Constitution and the duty to keep aspect of secularism alive in India does not rest on any one community but is cumulative efforts of all Indians. Freedom to profess own religion is also the integral part of constitution but with respect to other religions as well. For the public functionaries which discharge public functions, religion, faith or belief of a person is immaterial."

Furthermore, the Court observed that:

"Though the controversy regarding Ayurveda and Allopathy has been raised but this court is not inclined to further comment upon the same. Every form of treatment is important, having its own benefits and drawbacks depending upon circumstances. . Albeit, any kind of unguarded or loose comment cannot be expected from anybody chairing the responsible post. IMA is prestigious institution whose aims and objectives are meant for the welfare of doctor and other related aspects. Such a platform cannot be used to propagate any individual's views on any religion."

Observing that certain aspects of the interview were "seemingly not in harmony with Constitution of India", the Court said:

"Any word spoken by defendant at public platform shall relate to his responsible position therefore responsibility to act cautiously rests heavily on the shoulder of person who is having higher position. Even his casual remarks have great impact on the society."

In view of this, the Court told the IMA Chief shall not use the platform of IMA "for propagating any religion and rather shall concentrate for welfare of medical fraternity and progress in medical field."

"It is expected from him that he will not give any such occasion so that people may believe otherwise or indulge in any activity contrary to the principles enshrined in constitution and shall maintain the dignity of position chaired by him." The Court said further.

Title: Rohit Jha v. Dr. J. A. Jayalal, National President, Indian Medical Association

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