Misleading ads case: Patanjali tells SC that it has withdrawn sales and advertisements of banned products

 New Delhi, July 10: Patanjali Ayurved on Tuesday apprised the Supreme Court that it has withdrawn the sale and advertisements of products whose manufacturing licenses were suspended by the Uttarakhand State Licencing Authority in April this year.

A bench, headed by Justice Hima Kohli, was hearing a plea filed by the Indian Medical Association seeking action against Patanjali for violation of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 – which prohibits the advertisement of certain products for the treatment of specified diseases and disorders, including diabetes, heart diseases, high or low blood pressure and obesity.

Earlier, the top court had questioned senior advocate Balbir Singh, representing Patanjali, about the continued presence of misleading ads, particularly on social media platforms. In an affidavit filed before the apex court in April this year, the Uttarakhand government said that it has granted permission to file a complaint against Ramdev’s Divya Pharmacy and Patanjali Ayurved Ltd. for repeated violations of the drug advertisements law and suspended manufacturing licenses for 14 of their products.

The Supreme Court court had rejected the “unconditional and unqualified apology” tendered by Ramdev and Balkrishna and took strong exception over the violation of the undertaking given to the apex court in November last year. Patanjali had earlier assured the top court that it would not make any casual statements claiming the medicinal efficacy of its products or advertise or brand them in violation of law and would not release any statement against any system of medicine to the media in any form.

The Supreme Court also took note of the apology issued by Indian Medical Association (IMA) President Dr R.V. Asokan in the IMA’s monthly magazine and official website for his statement terming the oral observations made by the apex court during Patanjali misleading advertisements case against allopathy practitioners as “unfortunate” and a “very vague and general statement which has demoralised the doctors”.