SC issues personal summons for Ramdev, Balakrishna in Patanjali misleading ad case

The top court noted that Patanjali has continued deceptive advertisements despite previous assurances from the company's counsel to the contrary.

Krishna Yadav
Updated19 Mar 2024, 01:02 PM IST
A hoarding with an image of Baba Ramdev is seen inside a Patanjali store in Ahmedabad. (File Photo: Reuters)
A hoarding with an image of Baba Ramdev is seen inside a Patanjali store in Ahmedabad. (File Photo: Reuters)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed Ramdev-owned Patanjali Ayurved and its managing director Acharya Balakrishna to personally appear before the court and respond to contempt proceedings initiated against them for issuing misleading advertisements for health cures.

The hearing in the case has been deferred, with no date scheduled as of now.

The top court noted that Patanjali has continued deceptive advertisements despite previous assurances from the company's counsel to the contrary.

A bench comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah found Ramdev and Balkrishna prima facie in violation of Sections 3 and 4 of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954.

Justice Kohli asked Ramdev and Balakrishna to submit their replies.

On 27 February, the Supreme Court had issued a contempt notice to the pair for their misleading health cure advertisements, prohibiting Patanjali from promoting products with unfounded claims of curing diseases like heart ailments and asthma. The court also forbade Patanjali and its officials from criticizing any medical system across any media.

The court had also sought a detailed affidavit from the Centre on steps taken to remove these advertisements.

In a November 2023 judgment, the Supreme Court had sharply criticized Patanjali Ayurved for continuing to circulate misleading claims and advertisements against modern medicine, cautioning that a fine of 1 crore would be imposed if such promotional activities persisted.

The Indian Medical Association had filed a writ petition in 2022, urging the central government, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), and the Central Consumer Protection Authority of India (CCPA) to act against advertisements that promote the Ayush system while denigrating modern, evidence-based medicine.

The petition had raised concerns about the systematic spread of misinformation disparaging modern medicine.

It had 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 had also pointed to controversial statements made by Ramdev, including derogatory remarks about modern medicine and unfounded claims about covid-19 vaccines and oxygen cylinders during the second wave of the pandemic.

Also Read: 'Govt sitting with eyes closed': Supreme Court raps Centre, slaps temporary ban on Patanjali's 'false' ads

 

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First Published:19 Mar 2024, 01:02 PM IST
HomeNewsIndiaSC issues personal summons for Ramdev, Balakrishna in Patanjali misleading ad case

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