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Misleading ads case: Patanjali MD Acharya Balkrishna submits apology to SC

In an affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court, Balkrishna apologised for the misleading ads and claimed that the intention of the company was to solely promote Ayurveda

Acharya Balkrishna

Acharya Balkrishna. (Photo: Sanjay K Sharma)

Vasudha Mukherjee New Delhi

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Patanjali Ayurved and its Managing Director Acharya Balkrishna has submitted an official apology to the Supreme Court regarding its misleading advertisements targeting evidence-based medicine.

In an affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court, Balkrishna assured that such advertisements would not be released in the future. He emphasised that the company's sole intention is to encourage citizens to adopt a healthier lifestyle by using products from Patanjali Ayurved.

The affadavit further claimed that Patanajali Ayurved products were backed by scientific research that were not available during the enactment of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 1940. Moreover, he stated that Patanjali Ayurved products and Ayurveda itself were backed by knowledge in ancient literature.

Balkrishna affirmed that Patanjali would refrain from repeating misleading ads and that the firm's intention was solely aimed at promoting Ayurveda.

Patanjali, in its affidavit, expressed utmost respect for the rule of law and committed to abiding by it. The company stated that its media division was unaware of any court proceedings prohibiting such advertisements.

Patanjali's misleading ads case

The affidavit was filed in response to a plea filed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), which accused Patanjali and its founder Baba Ramdev of conducting a smear campaign against the Covid-19 vaccination drive and modern medicine.

In November 2023, the Supreme Court had warned Patanjali of heavy fines of up to Rs 1 crore for false claims made in its advertisements promoting products claiming to treat medical conditions such as BP, diabetes, fevers, epilepsy, and lupus.

The Court emphasised that the issue should not be framed as a debate between allopathy/modern medicine and Ayurvedic products.

Furthermore, the Supreme Court directed Patanjali to refrain from publishing misleading advertisements in the future and urged the company to avoid making such statements to the media. 

However, despite these directives, Patanjali continued to publish such ads. Consequently, on February 27, 2024, the court temporarily banned advertisements for Patanjali Ayurved's medicines and issued contempt of court notices to the company and Balkrishna for making deceptive claims. The Court also stressed the need for a resolution regarding misleading medical advertisements and came down on the central government for its perceived inaction on the matter.

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First Published: Mar 21 2024 | 10:40 AM IST

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