Supreme Court Summons Baba Ramdev and Patanjali MD over Misleading Ads

The contempt notice against Patanjali Ayurved and Acharya Balkrishna was issued following a petition filed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).
Supreme Court Summons Baba Ramdev and Patanjali MD over Misleading Ads
Supreme Court Summons Baba Ramdev and Patanjali MD over Misleading Ads

The Supreme Court on March 19 directed Yoga guru Baba Ramdev and Patanjali Ayurved's Managing Director Acharya Balkrishna to appear in person within two weeks regarding the company's alleged dissemination of misleading advertisements.

This decision follows the Court's restraint on Patanjali Ayurved from publishing ads for various ailments, including blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, asthma, and obesity, on February 27.

The contempt notice against Patanjali Ayurved and Acharya Balkrishna was issued following a petition filed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA). During the hearing, the bench, comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Amanullah, expressed dissatisfaction over the lack of a response despite prior directives.

Justice Kohli highlighted that Baba Ramdev could face contempt proceedings, considering the Court's prima facie opinion of his violation of the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act. Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing Baba Ramdev, faced queries from the bench regarding the delayed response to the contempt notice.

The Court rejected Rohatgi's plea to exclude Baba Ramdev from the case, emphasizing his prominent presence in Patanjali's advertisements and press conferences. Additionally, the bench asserted that the hearing would not be postponed.

The Union Ayush Ministry faced criticism for filing its response just a day prior to the hearing. In response, the Ministry requested additional time to submit a comprehensive affidavit. The Court directed the Ministry to file a fresh affidavit.

Previously, the Centre disclosed in its affidavit that it had received 35,556 complaints regarding misleading advertisements against various companies. It further stated that the Ayush Ministry had issued a notice to Patanjali Ayurved regarding its claim of developing a COVID-19 cure named CORONIL, based on representations received.

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