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Supreme Court issues contempt notice to Patanjali, restrains firm from issuing misleading ads

Feb 27, 2024 05:12 PM IST

The plea was filed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), seeking an order against all misleading advertisements claiming to have a cure for all ailments

The Supreme Court on Tuesday restrained Patanjali Ayurveda Limited from advertising its medicinal products and issued a contempt of court notice to its managing director Acharya Balakrishna for violating its November order.

The apex court also directed the company to not issue any misleading advertisements or make statements adverse to allopathy. (PTI/File)

"We issue notice to show cause to Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishnan] as to why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against them. Ld counsel accepts notice on their behalf. Reply within 2 weeks. List for consideration thereafter. We are dispensing with their personal presence for now.”ALSO READ: 'Fine 1000 crore if...': Ramdev claims doctors' 'propaganda' after SC rebuke

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The apex court also directed the company to not issue any misleading advertisements or make statements adverse to allopathy.

In its order, a division bench headed by Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah said, “Respondents are restrained from advertising and branding of their marketed medicinal products specified as treating diseases/ailments as in the rules, until further orders. They are cautioned from making any statements adverse to any medicine system in any form in print or other media.”

The plea was filed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), seeking an order against all misleading advertisements claiming to have a cure for all ailments and discrediting doctors in the process by doubting the efficacy of allopathic medicines. The plea also sought action against Ramdev and Patanjali.

Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah said, as per Bar & Bench, “I have brought printouts and annexures. We are going to pass a very strict order today. Go through it. How can you say you will cure? Despite our warning you are saying our things are better than chemical-based medicines?”

He added, “You had the courage and guts to still come up with this advertisement after our order, you are tempting the Court!”

The court came down heavily on the organisation for misleading claims in advertisements.

The court added, “The entire country has been taken for a ride! For 2 years you wait when the Drugs Act says this is prohibited?”

Responding to the Centre, it said, “Here it is something that we cannot fathom. You (Centre) remain confined to your space but not so brazenly.”

Reiterating its earlier order, the court asked to avoid casual statements that are likely to cast aspersions on the other medicinal systems.

Talking about Patanjali's claims against allopathy, the court said, “How have you said against allopathy when we have said? Why have you compared efficacy? You do your own job but why are you talking about allopathy ...”

The matter has now been listed for March 19.

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