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Business News/ Companies / News/  SC slaps contempt notice on Patanjali Ayurved for misleading ads
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SC slaps contempt notice on Patanjali Ayurved for misleading ads

The court barred Patanjali from promoting products claimed to cure diseases and also prohibited its officials from making any public statements against any medical system in any form of media

The writ petition was filed by the Indian Medical Association against Ramdev's Patanjali. (PTI Photo) (PTI)Premium
The writ petition was filed by the Indian Medical Association against Ramdev's Patanjali. (PTI Photo) (PTI)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday served a contempt notice to Ramdev-owned Patanjali Ayurved and its managing director Acharya Balakrishna for issuing misleading advertisements about health cures in violation of an earlier order.

The apex also court barred Patanjali from promoting products claimed to cure diseases such as heart ailments and asthma. The court prohibited Patanjali and its officials from making any public statements against any medical system in any form of media.

During the hearing of a writ petition filed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), the bench, comprising Justice Hima Kholi and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah, initially contemplated a blanket ban on all product advertisements. However, after considering Patanjali's extensive product range and the potential impact on business interests, the court restricted the curbs on the advertisement of products related to diseases and ailments under the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act 1954 for the time being.

“You had the courage and guts to come up with this advertisement after the order of this Court! And then you come up with this advertisement. Permanent relief, what do you mean by permanent relief? Is it a cure?" the court said.

The court also sought a detailed affidavit from the Union for the steps taken to remove these advertisements.

This ruling came after the IMA presented evidence in court, including a Patanjali advertisement in The Hindu newspaper and a press conference where the company claimed to have completely cured sugar and asthma with the help of yoga. The court found Patanjali in violation of the previous court order, which prohibited Patanjali from issuing misleading advertisements and making misleading claims.

In its November 21, 2023, ruling, the Court reprimanded Patanjali Ayurved for continuing to publish misleading claims and advertisements against modern systems of medicine and issued a stern warning of imposing 1 crore in case such promotions continued.

The IMA had filed a writ petition in 2022 seeking direction to the Centre, Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), and the CCPA (Central Consumer Protection Authority of India) to take action against advertisements promoting the Ayush system by disparaging the allopathic system.

The petition raised concerns about the systematic spread of misinformation disparaging allopathy and modern medicine. It specifically highlighted a Patanjali advertisement published on 10 July, 2022.

The petition argued that Patanjali's unverified claims violate existing laws such as the Drugs & Other Magic Remedies Act, 1954, and the Consumer Protection Act, 2019. The petition also pointed to controversial statements made by Ramdev, associated with Patanjali, including derogatory remarks about allopathy and unfounded claims about covid-19 vaccines and oxygen cylinders during the second wave of the pandemic.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Krishna Yadav
Krishna, a lawyer turned journalist, is a key member of Mint's corporate team. He covers major legal battles in Delhi's courtrooms, with a focus on finance, markets, and policy. Additionally, he crafts easy-to-understand explainers for complex stories and holds a PG Diploma from the renowned Asian College of Journalism.
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Published: 27 Feb 2024, 05:31 PM IST
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