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Patanjali MD Balkrishna submits apology to SC in misleading ads case

The court had earlier said that Ramdev and Balkrishna were in violation of Section 3 and 4 of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954

Patanjali Ayurved MD &  CEO Acharya Balkrishna says Patanjali has invested around Rs 50-60 crore till now

Patanjali Ayurved MD & CEO Acharya Balkrishna

Bhavini Mishra New Delhi

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Patanjali Ayurved tendered an unconditional apology to the Supreme Court on Thursday over misleading claims about the abilities of its medicines.

Patanjali Ayurved Managing Director Acharya Balkrishna appeared before the apex court and offered the “unconditional apology”.


“The deponent (Balkrishna) regrets that the advertisement in question, which was meant to contain only general statements, inadvertently included the offending sentences,” the affidavit said. 

Balkrishna on Thursday told the court that he will “ensure that such advertisements are not issued in the future.”

He said their intention was only to “exhort the citizens of this country to lead a healthier life by consuming products” of the ayurvedic company “including products for lifestyle ailments through the use of age-old literature and materials supplementing and backed by ayurvedic research.”

The court had on Tuesday directed Patanjali Ayurved’s Co-Founder Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna to personally appear before it on April 2 for failing to reply to the court’s contempt notice against them and the company in the misleading ads case. 

The court on February 27 had issued a contempt notice to Patanjali Ayurved and Balkrishna for flouting its previous orders by continuing to propagate false and misleading claims regarding their products’ ability to cure diseases.

The court had said that Ramdev and Balkrishna were in violation of Section 3 and 4 of Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954. The sections talk about prohibition of advertisement of certain drugs for treatment of certain diseases and disorders and prohibition of misleading advertisements relating to drugs.

The Bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah had temporarily restrained Patanjali Ayurved from advertising or branding its products which are meant to address the diseases/disorders specified in the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act 1954.

The court was hearing a petition filed by the Indian Medical Association(IMA) alleging that the “yoga guru and his company” had started a “smear campaign” against the COVID-19 vaccination drive and modern medicine.

In his affidavit, Balkrishna said the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 was “archaic”.

“The respondent (Patanjali) now possesses evidence-based scientific data with clinical research conducted in Ayurveda, which would demonstrate the advances made through scientific research in the context of diseases mentioned in the Schedule to the 1954 Act,” the filing said. 

The schedule provides for a list of diseases on which advertisement claiming cure is prohibited.

“The Schedule to the 1954 Act read with Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Rules, 1955 is in an archaic state and the last changes were introduced in 1996. The Drug & Cosmetic Act, 1940 was passed when scientific evidence in Ayurveda research was lacking," the affidavit said. 

 

ALSO READ: Patanjali Foods declines 5% as SC summons Ramdev in misleading ads case

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First Published: Mar 21 2024 | 9:06 PM IST

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