Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Misleading ads case: SC reserves order on contempt notice issued to Ramdev, Balkrishna and Patanjali

Patanjali cure

NEW DELHI, MAYT 14: The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its order on the contempt notice issued to yoga guru Ramdev, his aide Balkrishna and Patanjali Ayurved Ltd. in the misleading advertisement case.
A Bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah noted that the Counsel appearing for the firm has sought time to file an affidavit indicating the steps being taken to recall the advertisements of those products of Patanjali whose licences have been suspended.
The Bench said the affidavit should be filed within 3 weeks.
“Orders are reserved on the contempt notice issued to respondents 5 to 7 (Patanjali Ayurved Ltd, Balkrishna and Ramdev)”, the Bench said.
During the hearing, Indian Medical Association (IMA) president RV Asokan unconditionally apologised to the Bench for his statements made against the apex Court in a recent interview to the PTI, where he answered questions about Patanjali Ayurved’s misleading advertisements case.
“You can’t sit on a couch giving an interview to the press and lampooning the Court”, Justice Kohli told Asokan.
The Bench told the IMA’s Counsel that, at this stage, the Court was not inclined to accept the affidavit of apology tendered by the IMA president.
While hearing the matter on May 7, the top Court had termed as “very, very unacceptable” the statements made by Asokan.
The Uttarakhand State Licencing Authority (SLA) had earlier told the apex Court that manufacturing licences of 14 products of Patanjali Ayurved Ltd and Divya Pharmacy have been “suspended with immediate effect”.
The apex Court is hearing a plea filed in 2022 by the IMA alleging a smear campaign by Patanjali against the COVID vaccination drive and modern systems of medicine.
The IMA, in its petition, had alleged that this was completely wrong and improper on the part of Patanjali Ayurveda’s advertisements, which claimed to cure certain diseases, including high blood pressure, diabetes and asthma. “It is completely wrong to advertise such kinds of diseases and to cure such diseases”, the IMA had said in its plea.
The top Court, in a prior hearing, emphasised the importance of consumer welfare and truthfulness in advertising during the hearing of the IMA’s case against Patanjali, stressing the public’s right to accurate information regarding potentially misleading advertisements.
Expanding the scope of its hearing in the Patanjali Ayurved case, the Supreme Court had also took a stern view of misleading advertisements by FMCG firms and asked 3 Union Ministries to inform it about the steps they have taken to curb the practice, which takes the “public for a ride” and adversely affects their health.
(TNIE & Agencies)