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HomeBusinessSupreme Court Questions Patanjali's Apology Ad Size

Supreme Court Questions Patanjali’s Apology Ad Size

India

In a session on Tuesday (April 23), the Supreme Court questions Patanjali’s apology Ad size compared to its advertisements. Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah deliberated on the contempt case against Patanjali Ayurved, Managing Director Acharya Balkrishna, and co-founder Baba Ramdev for deceptive medical ads.

Apology Advertisement Size Scrutinized

Patanjali Ayurved issued apologies in newspapers, prompting queries about the apology ad size and costs. Lawyer Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi informed the bench about the 67-newspaper publication. Justice Kohli questioned the equality in costs between the apology and full-page ads.

Court’s Directive and Involvement of Ministries

The bench adjourned the hearing till April 30, asking for the actual apology ad copies. It chastised Patanjali’s lawyers for not presenting the apology ad. The Court aimed to address the broader issue of misleading health claims by FMCG companies, involving the Ministries of Consumer Affairs and Information and Broadcasting.

Seeking Clarifications from Union Government

Furthermore, the bench demanded clarification from the Union Government regarding a letter from the AYUSH Ministry instructing States to refrain from action against AYUSH product ads. It observed alleged unethical conduct by Indian Medical Association (IMA) members, leading to IMA’s inclusion in the case.

Yoga Camps Tax

The Supreme Court in a recent order upheld the CESTAT ruling and held that Ramdev’s Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust is liable to pay Rs 4.95 crore to tax authorities for Yoga camps.

Previous Developments

Previously, the Court rejected Patanjali and Ramdev’s apology affidavits, deeming them not unqualified or unconditional. During a previous hearing, both personally apologized after extensive bench questioning. The Court also criticized Uttarakhand authorities’ inaction against Patanjali under the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act 1954. Additionally, it reprimanded the Union Government for not acting against Patanjali’s COVID cure claims during the pandemic.

The Supreme Court is currently overseeing a case involving Patanjali Ayurved, its Managing Director Acharya Balkrishna, and co-founder Baba Ramdev for publishing deceptive medical advertisements, which violate a prior undertaking to the Court. Patanjali recently issued apologies in newspapers, prompting the Court to question the size and costs of these apologies compared to their original ads.

The Court aims to address broader issues of misleading health claims by FMCG companies and has involved the Ministries of Consumer Affairs and Information and Broadcasting in the case. Additionally, it seeks clarification from the Union Government regarding a letter from the AYUSH Ministry instructing States not to take action against AYUSH product ads. Previously, the Court rejected Patanjali and Ramdev’s apology affidavits and criticized authorities for not acting against Patanjali under relevant laws.

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