Patanjali’s Coronil tablets case: HC refuses to gag media
CHENNAI 25 JULY 2020 00:41 IST
UPDATED: 25 JULY 2020 02:34 IST
We have to face all of that. Media is a part of the game. You can be assured that this court will not be swayed by media reports,” the court said.
The Madras High Court on Friday refused to gag the media from reporting court proceedings on an application preferred by Patanjali Ayurved to vacate an ex-parte interim injunction granted on July 17 restraining the company from using the term ‘Coronil’ for tablets marketed by it to boost immunity against COVID-19.
When an advocate representing the company said there was tremendous adverse reporting in the media regarding its Coronil tablets and his clients were disturbed, Justice C.V. Karthikeyan replied: “We have to face all of that. Media is a part of the game. You can be assured that this court will not be swayed by media reports.”
He also cited The Hindu’s reporting of the case proceedings on Thursday. Earlier, in an affidavit, too, Patanjali stated that many media houses reported about the interim injunction on July 17 though the order copy was not available even on the High Court website till July 20.
The submissions were made after the judge heard senior counsel P.R. Raman, representing Chennai-based Arudra Engineers Private Limited which alleged infringement of trademarks Coronil-213SPL and Coronil-92B used for its industrial cleaning chemicals for some time, and then decided to continue the hearing on Monday.
Mr. Raman stoutly denied Patanjali’s claim of the present civil suit being part of a larger conspiracy to scuttle its business, whose revenues had grown from about ₹100 crore in 2010-11 to ₹9,500 crore in 2018-19. “There’s no conspiracy here. I am purely on infringement of my marks, which I have been using for nearly 30 years,” he said.
Relying on a series of media reports to contend that Coronil tablets were falsely promoted as a cure for COVID-19 before there was a shift in stance to claim that they were just immunity boosters, he claimed such an act had caused irreparable damage to the trademarks owned by the plaintiff company.
He told the court that people had gone to the extent of hoarding the tablets, sold in a kit containing three other medicines, because of the claim of the tablets providing a cure for COVID-19. “Is this not profiteering from the insecurities in the prevailing position?” he asked and agreed to continue his submissions on Monday.