SC bans Patanjali from advertising its products. Click to know the reasons

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The Supreme Court of India has issued a robust response to Patanjali Ayurved, imposing a ban on the company’s advertising of medicinal products until further notice. The move comes in the wake of serious allegations made by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), which accused Patanjali of disseminating misleading advertisements that directly attacked allopathic medicines. 

This action follows Patanjali’s earlier assurance to the court in November 2023, where the company pledged not to release statements claiming medicinal efficacy or opposing any medical system. However, despite this commitment, Patanjali faced severe criticism for allegedly continuing to publish misleading advertisements.

The specific advertisement titled “MISCONCEPTIONS SPREAD BY ALLOPATHY: SAVE YOURSELF AND THE COUNTRY FROM THE MISCONCEPTIONS SPREAD BY PHARMA AND MEDICAL INDUSTRY” drew attention from the IMA, asserting that it violated the Drugs & Other Magical Remedies Act, 1954 (DOMA), and the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 (CPA). 

The IMA argued that Patanjali’s campaign contributed to vaccine hesitancy during the COVID-19 pandemic by spreading false rumours. Furthermore, the IMA accused Patanjali of making claims about allopathic medicine being responsible for COVID-19 deaths.

These allegations suggest a pattern of behaviour that goes against established norms and regulations.

The court, in its November 2023 hearing, had warned Patanjali against making claims about the complete cure of diseases and threatened to impose a cost of Rs 1 crore for every product associated with such claims. Despite this warning, Patanjali’s alleged persistence in publishing misleading advertisements prompted the court to take a more stringent stance. 

The court emphasized that it does not want to enter the “Allopathy v. Ayurveda” debate but aims to curb misleading advertisements. Justice Ahsannudin Amanullah expressed dissatisfaction with the company’s actions, deeming them “unacceptable.” The court emphasized its commitment to curbing misleading advertisements and protecting consumers from potentially harmful misinformation.

The case is set for further hearings on March 19, providing an opportunity for a more comprehensive examination of the allegations against Patanjali. The court’s intervention underscores the importance of enforcing legal frameworks and safeguarding public health and safety in the face of misleading advertising practices.

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