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Business News/ Companies / News/  Patanjali misleading ad case: Baba Ramdev, Balkrishna likely to appear for Supreme Court hearing today

Patanjali misleading ad case: Baba Ramdev, Balkrishna likely to appear for Supreme Court hearing today

The Supreme Court summoned Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna over Patanjali's misleading ads claiming to cure diseases, defying court orders. A bench issued notice for contempt proceedings against them for violating the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act

Ramdev, Balkrishna Summoned by SC Over Contemptuous Ads (File Photo: Reuters)Premium
Ramdev, Balkrishna Summoned by SC Over Contemptuous Ads (File Photo: Reuters)

Supreme Court has summoned yoga guru Baba Ramdev and Patanjali Ayurved's managing director Acharya Balkrishna to appear before it on April 2. The apex court seeks an explanation from them on why contempt proceedings should not be initiated for violating its orders prohibiting advertisements claiming to cure diseases and discrediting modern medicine, according to a report by Hindustan Times.

A bench comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah expressed displeasure over the non-compliance of its earlier order of February 27, which had sought a response from Patanjali and its MD. The court noted that the advertisements issued by Patanjali featuring Ramdev's face were in direct contravention of the company's past undertaking to refrain from such advertisements.

The order, as quoted by HT, stated, “Having gone through the advertisements issued by respondent Patanjali, in teeth of the undertaking given to this court and noticing the said advertisement by Acharya Ramdev, it is deemed appropriate to showcause why contempt proceedings not be initiated against him under the Rules to Regulate Proceedings for Contempt of the Supreme Court, 1975. He has also violated provisions of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954." 

Section 3 of this act prohibits any advertisement claiming diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of lifestyle diseases such as blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, asthma, cervical spondylitis, obesity, and heart diseases.

The order was passed on a petition filed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), which approached the court against Patanjali, alleging it was making false and misleading claims of curing diseases and discrediting modern medicine.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Patanjali, told the court, "Violation of the law is not contempt. Everyday many things happen. The last order was of February 27. Between that day and today, what have I done? Even if the court feels there is any further aggravation, I will convey to my client on what he needs to say," as quoted by HT.

However, the bench responded, "The provisions of the 1954 act concerns all individuals. On last occasion too, there was material where it was alleged that Baba Ramdev called a press conference after our order was passed. There is nothing personal in this matter. We have only issued showcause notice. We are also making him (Swami Ramdev) a party. Let him respond."

The court also pulled up the Centre for filing an affidavit late on Monday and warned that if its response was unsatisfactory, necessary orders would be passed on the next date.

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Published: 02 Apr 2024, 08:24 AM IST
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