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SC refuses to hear PIL for standard Yoga protocol to enhance COVID-19 resistance

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain a PIL seeking directions to the Centre to develop “standard Yoga protocol” to enhance coronavirus resistance and its customisation to control common diseases as well. A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan told lawyer petitioner and BJP leader Ashwini Updhyay that it was not willing to direct the government on the issues raised in the plea and allowed him to approach authorities with the representation.

“After making submissions for some time, learned counsel for the petitioner seeks permission to withdraw the petition to enable him to approach the competent authorities. The writ petition is dismissed as withdrawn,” said the bench, also comprising Justices R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah, conducting the hearing via video conferencing.

The plea, filed through advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey, said that Ministry of AYUSH has failed to develop a standard Yoga protocol to resist coronavirus or COVID-19 and sought directions to take steps to broadcast COVID-19 Yoga protocols as well as other customised Yoga Protocols in order to strengthen body immune system.

“The injury caused to the public is very large because COVID-19 pandemic is spreading rapidly and no vaccine or medicine has been discovered till date,” it said. Experts say that regular Yoga can protect people from COVID-19 but AYUSH Ministry has failed to develop a standard Yoga protocol to resist the virus, the plea said.

It alleged that AYUSH Ministry has also not developed customised protocols to control common diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, tumours, digestive diseases, fever and infections and diarrheal diseases.

The PIL has also sought directions to the Ministry of Human Resource Development to develop standard textbooks on ‘Environment, Health and Yoga Science’ for students of I-VIII standard and make its study compulsory throughout the country. “Direct the ministry of AYUSH to frame a ‘National Yoga Policy’ to promote and propagate Yoga Science in order to make people fully aware about health-hazards, health-hygiene and health safety,” the plea said.

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