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HomeLegal NewsSupreme Court bans Patanjali Medicine Ads; Pulls Ministry of AYUSH for sitting...

Supreme Court bans Patanjali Medicine Ads; Pulls Ministry of AYUSH for sitting with closed eyes

New Delhi:  The Supreme Court of India directed an interim ban on ads of Patanjali Ayurved’s medicines which is co-owned by Yoga Guru Baba Ramdevs. The apex court also issued contempt of court notices to Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna, the other co-owner, for ignoring its previous orders regarding false and misleading claims. Acharya Balkrishna is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Patanjali. The top court observed the company can’t make claims that their medicines would treat ailments specified in the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act. The court in November had threatened to impose a fine of Rs. 1 crore per false claim on the company. The bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah also said that Patanjali has been taking the country for a ride. “You ( Patanjali Ayurved) had the courage to come up with this advertisement after the order of this court. Permanent relief… what do you mean by permanent relief? Is it a cure? You can’t say your medicines/drugs cure a particular disease,” the court observed. “How can Patanjali claim to completely cure blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, asthma and obesity,” the court asked.

The bench was hearing the case filed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) against an alleged smear campaign by Baba Ramdev against COVID-19 vaccines and modern medicine (allopathy). Representing IMA, senior Advocate PS Patwalia raised concerns about misleading claims made in ads and a press conference held by Ramdev regarding remedies for blood pressure that referred to ‘lies spread by allopathy’. “He held a press conference the very next day after last order,” Patwalia claimed while hearing. The court ruled that allopathy cannot be degraded/defamed in the eyes of the public like this. “You (Patanjali) cannot criticise any other method of treatment like allopathy,” it noted. The Supreme Court on Tuesday also pulled up the Ministry of AYUSH (Govt of India) for “sitting with its eyes closed.” “You (Union government) wait for two years when the Act says this is prohibited. The government is sitting with its eyes closed,” the court said.