SC bans Patanjali Ads on Medicines; issues Contempt Notice

TNI Bureau: In a major jolt to Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved and its Managing Director (MD) Acharya Balakrishna, the Supreme Court of India has imposed an interim order imposing a ban on advertisements of Patanjali Ayurved’s medicines.

A Bench of Supreme Court comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah imposed the ban while hearing a petition filed by the Indian Medical Association. The bench was proposing to place a complete ban on advertisements. However, it specified that the advertisement ban would apply to products products relating to diseases/disorders specified in the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act 1954 after Patanjali Ayurved’s counsel Senior Advocate Vipin Sanghi appealed that the company is manufacturing products like toothpaste also and a complete ban will affect its commercial operations.

The Court also issued contempt of court notices to Patanjali’s founders Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna for violating previous orders of the Court and making misleading claims.

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It is to be noted here that Patanjali had made an assurance to the Court earlier in November last year that no such statements would be made. However, the court observed that Patanjali violated the undertaking and issued a show cause notice why action should not be taken against them for the contempt of court.

“You (Patanjali) had the courage and guts to come up with this advertisement after the order of this Court! And then you come up with this advertisement. Permanent relief, what do you mean by permanent relief? Is it a cure?” the court observed during the hearing.

The Indian Medical Association had moved the court seeking to control the “smear campaign” and negative advertisements against the vaccination drive and modern medicines.

The court scheduled the next hearing of the case after two weeks.

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