Supreme Court Rebukes Patanjali and Centre Over Misleading Advertisements

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GG News Bureau
New Delhi, 2nd April. 
The Supreme Court on Tuesday rebuked Patanjali Ayurved co-founder Baba Ramdev, the company’s top executive Acharya Balakrishna, and the centre during a hearing on misleading advertisements. The ads in question disparaged modern medicine and medical practitioners.

Ramdev and Balakrishna were slammed for their defiance in submitting improper versions of affidavits to the court. The centre was questioned for not taking action despite Patanjali’s claims that Western medicine offered no protection against COVID-19.

Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah also questioned the Ministry of AYUSH for not acting against Patanjali after their ads belittled contemporary medicine.

The court expressed disappointment in the lack of action by the centre during a critical period in 2022 when Patanjali claimed their ayurvedic medicines were only supplements to vaccines. The court also reminded the centre of a previous rebuke in February for not addressing false advertisements.

The court criticized Patanjali for filing a casual affidavit offering an apology for the misleading ads. The court called the affidavit indefensible and suggested Patanjali could be guilty of perjury.

The court was displeased with Patanjali’s continued airing of misleading ads despite previous court orders. The court emphasized the importance of respecting court orders and criticized Patanjali for their defiance.

Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta acknowledged the mistakes made and offered to work with Patanjali’s counsel to address the issue. The court granted permission for this collaboration.

Ramdev and Balakrishna were given one last chance to file proper affidavits within a week and must be present at the next hearing on April 10. The case involves a contempt charge against Patanjali for false advertising.

The court had previously directed Patanjali to stop all misleading ads on February 27. The case originated from a petition by the Indian Medical Association against Baba Ramdev’s smear campaign on the Covid vaccination drive and modern medicine.

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