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Supreme Court Takes Firm Stand Regarding Misleading Health Claims, Continues proceeding against Patanjali

Last Updated on April 11, 2024 by News Desk

The Supreme Court has refused to accept a second round of apologies from self-styled yoga guru Baba Ramdev, Patanjali Ayurved Limited, and its managing director Acharya Balkrishna in a contempt case, citing concerns about Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies playing with the health of the public while the government fails to crack the whip.

Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah argued that the objectionable and misleading advertisements by Patanjali Ayurved to cure various ailments were “deliberate and wilful violations” of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act of 1954 and its Rules.

The court initiated contempt proceedings against Patanjali Ayurved and Balkrishna on February 27 for violating an undertaking given to it in November 2023 that they would refrain from advertising “cures” in violation of the 1954 Act.

On November 21, the apex court directed the company to not make any “casual statements” to the print or electronic media about the efficacy of their medicinal products or indulge in any disparaging statements about other disciplines of medicine, including allopathy.

However, Mr. Ramdev held a press conference the very next day, and the court recorded that the contemnors, Mr. Ramdev and Mr. Balkrishna, had tried to “wriggle out” of personally appearing in the apex court.

Justice Amanullah said it was conduct like this that made a mockery of the Supreme Court, with the public claiming that judges were sitting in an ivory tower. The court made it clear that it would direct action against every person or authority who had broken the law, without mercy.

The contempt case was listed for April 16.

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