SC issues contempt notice to Patanjali Ayurved for ‘misleading’ advertisements | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

SC issues contempt notice to Patanjali Ayurved for ‘misleading’ advertisements

ByAbraham Thomas
Feb 27, 2024 04:11 PM IST

SC has cautioned Patanjali Ayurved, its officers against making media statements in any form adverse to any system of medicine

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed Patanjali Ayurved Limited to not issue any advertisements of its products which are meant to address ailments and diseases prohibited under rules.

SC has issued contempt notices to Patanjali and its director seeking response within three weeks. (Reuters file photo)
SC has issued contempt notices to Patanjali and its director seeking response within three weeks. (Reuters file photo)

The apex court also issued contempt notices to the company and its director Acharya Balakrishna for violating a November 2023 order of the Court restraining the company from making any adverse statements against modern medicine.

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A bench of justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah passed the order after they were shown the advertisement materials brought to the Court by Indian Medical Association (IMA) which had approached the Court in 2022 seeking action against Patanjali for disparaging allopathy and modern medicine and making misleading claims about curing diseases contrary to law.

The bench said, “Your statement was not worth the paper. You took the Court lightly. This Court had bound you to the statement you had made.”

Also Read: SC rebukes Patanjali for attempt to discredit allopathy, warns of hefty penalty

Issuing contempt notices to Patanjali and its director seeking response within three weeks, the bench said, “The said advertisements/press conference was issued after our order was passed on November 21, 2023. Prima facie this Court is of the view that respondent (Patanjali) is in violation of the undertaking given to this Court on November 21, 2023.”

The IMA produced advertisements issued in the print media in December 2023 and January 2024 along with a press conference conducted by yoga guru Ramdev along with Patanjali director Balakrishna on November 22, 2023, a day after the Court recorded an undertaking given by Patanjali through its lawyers that henceforth, no statement shall be made on efficacy of its system or against any other system of medicine.

In addition, the Court also received an anonymous complaint on January 15 attaching two press clippings of January 7 where Patanjali claimed that its products are “more effective than chemical-based synthetic medicines of allopathy”.

“You are a person who can do anything. That’s what we get from looking at these advertisements. The fact remains that you are selling your product to people as a “permanent relief”. This itself is misleading and a violation of the law,” the bench remarked.

The Court further directed, “The respondent (Patanjali) is restrained from advertising products manufactured and marketed by it which are meant to address ailments specified as diseases/disorders in the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectional Advertisements) Act, 1954.”

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

The Court posted the matter for hearing on March 19 and asked the registry to add Balakrishna as a party to the proceeding.

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