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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 25 June 2024

Supreme Court poser on homeopathic Covid ‘dose’ for Kerala government and Centre

Although the apex court had in March last year issued notices to the Centre and the Kerala government, which had allegedly distributed the medicine among school kids, they are yet to respond

R. Balaji New Delhi Published 19.07.23, 05:03 AM
Supreme Court of India

Supreme Court of India File picture

The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave five weeks’ more to the Centre and the Kerala government on a PIL challenging ayush ministry advisories to the states for using the homeopathic medicine Arsenic Album to prevent Covid-19 and also promoting it as a immune booster despite there being no scientific evidence.

A bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and S. Venkatanarayan Bhatti said it would hear the matter for final disposal after the governments responded. The petition had been filed during the height of the pandemic.

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Although the apex court had in March last year issued notices to the Centre and the Kerala government, which had allegedly distributed the medicine among school kids, they are yet to respond.

The court was dealing with a joint petition filed by Kerala doctor and scientist Cyriac Abby Philips and certain other science communicators challenging the advisory of the ayush ministry to promote Arsenic Album in connection with Covid and as an immunity booster.

Arsenic, the petitioners said, is the “king” of all poisons, a metalloid and a known carcinogen.

Senior advocate Anand Grover, appearing for the petitioners, assailed the move of the ayush ministry and the Kerala government as unscientific and lacking evidence.

Justice Bose, heading the bench, said he himself used homeopathic medicines but pointed out that Arsenic Album could be poisonous if used in an undiluted or improper manner.

The petitioners have said the ayush ministry’s advisories violated the fundamental right to life and health and were irrational, based on surmises and conjunctures.

“It was submitted that a recent randomised double-blind, placebo-controlled feasibility study done by researchers from Mumbai and the US, published in the journal Homeopathy in September 2021, evaluating the efficacy of Arsenicum Album 30Cin the prevention of Covid-19 in a quarantined population of close to 2,300 personsdid not show benefits, usefulness or effectiveness of the said homeopathic drug in preventing Covid-19,” the petition said.

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