Apologies mere ‘lip service’: Here is why Supreme Court is upset with Ramadev and Balakrishna : The Tribune India

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Apologies mere ‘lip service’: Here is why Supreme Court is upset with Ramadev and Balakrishna

Apex Court also came down hard on the BJP-led Centre for failing to act against the company’s claims during Covid outbreak

Apologies mere ‘lip service’: Here is why Supreme Court is upset with Ramadev and Balakrishna

Ramdev. PTI



Tribune Web Desk

Vibha Sharma

Chandigarh, March 2

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to exempt Patanjali Ayurved promoter Ramdev and managing director Acharya Balkrishna from personal appearance in the case related to deceptive/misleading advertisements for their medicinal products.

The Bench dismissed their affidavits apologising for violating their earlier undertaking as mere “lip service” and pulled up the BJP-led Centre for not doing enough to counter Patanjali’s misleading advertisements to promote its ayurvedic products and disparaging comments against modern medicine, like allopathy, as per reports.

 Why is SC upset?   

Various reports recounted the Bench comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsannudin Amanullah as ticking off Ramdev and Balkrishna for their “absolute defiance” in not filing proper affidavits of compliance in the misleading advertisement case and breaking “every barrier”.

The Bench also noted that Patanjali appeared guilty of perjury.

“You said documents have been attached, but the documents were created later on. This is a clear case of perjury! We are not closing the doors on you but we are telling all that we have noted,” it was quoted as saying.

Earlier in February, the court had issued a contempt notice to Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved for continuing with misleading advertisements claiming permanent cures for various diseases.

Coming down heavily, it took Patanjali to task for publishing advertisements directly attacked allopathic medicines despite an assurance to the court in November 2023 that “no casual statements claiming medicinal efficacy or against any system of medicine will be released to the media in any form” according to reports.

It also ticked off the Union government for failing to take any action against the advertisements despite being aware of them and “tuning a blind eye”.

The case and Ramdev’s claims

The case basically relates to claims made by the company regarding its ayurvedic/herbal products and comments about other branches of medicines during the COVID time. An advertisement titled “Misconceptions spread by allopathy: Save yourself and the country from the misconceptions spread by pharma and medical industry” came especially under the scrutiny, leading the Indian Medical Association (IMA) to adopt the legal path.

Accusing Patanjali of disseminating misinformation to run down  allopathy and making exaggerated claims about Patanjali drugs, the IMA claimed the  company had violated the Drugs and Other Magical Remedies Act, 1954 (DOMA) and the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 (CPA).

In November 2023, the SC had cautioned Patanjali against advertising permanent cures and also threatened to levy a penalty. But despite the warning Patanjali not only continued as usual, Ramdev also praised his products at a press conference after the order, as per reports.

 Misleading ads 

According to Ramdev’s critics “misleading advertisements can be dangerous because they misguide the poor and vulnerable lacking proper scientific knowledge”

“People become more susceptible to such claims in difficult times like COVID. However, even though there are sufficient safeguards available against misleading advertisements, Patanjali’s claims went unchecked.

“The fact is Patanjali not just violated DOMA but also CPA through misleading advertisements about treatments that not only breached legal standards but also endangered people’s health,” they add.

Though as per Patanjali MD Balakrishna today, the Drugs and Cosmetics (Magic Remedies) Act was “archaic”, a statement that was also “disapproved” by the court.

About The Author

The Tribune Web Desk brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune Wed Desk for not just breaking news stories but wide-ranging coverage of events.

#BJP #Supreme Court


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