The Delhi High Court on Tuesday observed that expert statutory bodies like the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) are the “best judges” to decide and approve “medical protocols” in treating mild Covid-19 cases.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by two doctors in 2020 seeking directions to the ministry of AYUSH for allowing homoeopathic medicines Arsenicum album – Phosphorus – Tuberculinum (APT) in series intervention protocol as the second advisory supplementing the first advisory Arsenicum album 30 C for treating mild Covid-19 infections.
While dismissing the PIL, a division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad observed, “It is not for the Courts to comment upon the medical protocols and the guidelines framed on the subject which are, in fact, issued after great research on the subject.”
The division bench noted that it is true, “homoeopathic medicines are very effective, and people throughout the globe are availing homoeopathic treatment”, but in cases of the pandemic, which protocol must be validated by the government should always be left to the discretion of the government, as its decision is based on “expert opinions”, and the “experts” are unquestionably the “masters of the field”.
“In India, despite a high infection rate, the government was able to control the pandemic through its medical protocol, and at this point, the government has been able to vaccinate a very large majority of the population (more than 219 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered), and all kinds of specialized treatments have been made available to the last man in society,” the court further noted.
“This Court at this juncture does not find any reason to grant relief as prayed for by the Petitioners. However, the Petitioners shall certainly be free to conduct a drug trial by following statutory provisions of law, especially keeping in view the affidavit filed by Respondent No.2 i.e. CCRH. The Petitioners have not been stopped by any authority to conduct research, and the affidavit filed by the Respondent No.2 makes it very clear that a procedure has been laid down for conducting clinical trials, and nobody has prevented the Petitioners to conduct clinical trials and obtain necessary permits required under the law,” the court stated.
Noting that the Covid-19 infections have nearly come to an end, the bench said it does not find any reason to allow the relief sought by the two doctors.
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