Supreme Court turns heat on IMA: ‘Complaints of unethical conduct, put house in order’ : The Tribune India

Join Whatsapp Channel

Supreme Court turns heat on IMA: ‘Complaints of unethical conduct, put house in order’

Says not just Patanjali Ayurved, FMCG firms also publishing misleading ads

Supreme Court turns heat on IMA: ‘Complaints of unethical conduct, put house in order’

Ramdev at the Supreme Court complex in New Delhi on Tuesday. ANI



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, April 23

Having kept Patanjali Ayurved co-founders Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna on tenterhooks over “misleading” advertisements of the company, the Supreme Court on Tuesday turned the heat on petitioner Indian Medical Association (IMA) for its alleged unethical conduct over recommending overpriced drugs and line of treatment “for valuable consideration”.

Tells ministries, NMC to file affidavits

  • Bench asks various ministries, IMA and NMC to file affidavits in two weeks, posts matter for further hearing on May 7
  • Senior counsel PS Patwalia, representing the IMA, says the association will respond to the issues raised by the Bench

Centre needs to activate itself

If this (misleading advertisements) is happening, the Union of India needs to activate itself and so do the state licensing authorities…

Affecting health

FMCGs also publishing misleading ads and taking the public for a ride; affecting the health of babies, school-going children and senior citizens. — Supreme Court Bench

“The petitioner (IMA) also needs to put its house in order. There are several complaints with regard to alleged unethical conduct of the IMA…misuse of their position in recommending highly expensive medicines, extraneous medicines for valuable consideration,” a Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah said.

Senior counsel PS Patwalia, representing the IMA, said the association would respond to the issues raised by the Bench. The Bench expanded the scope of the proceedings, saying that “we must clarify that we are not here to gun for a particular party, or a particular agency or a particular authority. This is absolutely a PIL, since it’s in the larger interest of the consumers…”

“It’s not just limited to respondents (Patanjali Ayurved and its co-founders) before this court, but other FMCGs (fast-moving consumer goods) also publishing misleading ads and taking the public for a ride, in particular, affecting the health of babies, school-going children and senior citizens who have been consuming their products,” it said. “If this (misleading advertisements) is happening, the Union of India needs to activate itself and so do the state licensing authorities… You can’t just shrug your shoulders off and say I have conveyed the complaint to the state authorities and it’s for them to do what they are doing,” the Bench said.

Without referring to the controversy over added sugar content in baby food sold by Nestle in India, it said recent misleading advertisements for things like foods for babies, children had been brought to its notice. “We now understand that it’s under scrutiny by the Union (of India)…the Union will have to tell us something about it… They shouldn’t be let off lightly,” the Bench said.

Directing that the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Ministry of Information Technology be made parties to the case, the top court asked the three ministries to file affidavits spelling out their respective stand on various issues raised in the matter.

While hearing the IMA’s 2022 petition against alleged smear campaign and negative advertisements by Patanjali Ayurved against the Covid-19 vaccination drive and modern medicines, the Bench said the National Medical Commission (NMC) and the licensing authorities of various states and union territories should also be made parties to these proceedings.

The Bench asked various ministries, the IMA and the NMC to file their affidavits in two weeks and posted the matter for further hearing on May 7. The Bench took strong exception to an August 2023 letter by the Ministry of Ayush asking the licensing authorities not to initiate or take any action under Rule 170 of Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, which prohibits advertisements of ayurvedic, Siddha or Unani drugs without the licensing authorities’ approval.

“How can you say don’t take action while the matter is pending before two high courts…We are going to take serious cognisance of that letter issued by you. You need to explain. Patanjali has been waving that letter,” Justice Amanullah told Additional Solicitor General KM Natraj, who represented the Centre.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#Baba Ramdev #Supreme Court


Top News

Police question grandfather of minor accused in Pune Porsche car crash case

Police question grandfather of minor accused in Pune Porsche car crash case

The boy's grandfather is summoned by the police in connectio...


Cities

View All