HomeWhat's TrendingSupreme Court issues Contempt Notice: Patanjali's Misleading Ads Under Fire

Supreme Court issues Contempt Notice: Patanjali’s Misleading Ads Under Fire

The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, February 27, issued contempt notice and expressed discontent towards the Union Government for its perceived inaction concerning Patanjali Ayurved’s advertisements claiming cures for various ailments, under the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act 1954.

In a bench comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah, hearing a petition filed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) in 2022, Justice Kohli queried the government about progress since the last order in November 2023. Despite allowing time for consultation with relevant authorities, including the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) and the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), the Court noted non-compliance from the Union.

Justice Amanullah took a stern stance, questioning the delay in action, emphasizing, ‘The entire country has been taken for a ride.’ The Court reminded the Union of its duty under the Act and requested a detailed affidavit on actions taken, warning of consequences if unsatisfied.

During the exchange, the Assistant Solicitor General (ASG) highlighted the state officers’ role in execution, while Justice Amanullah pressed for recommendations to the states. The Court reprimanded Patanjali Ayurved for persistent advertisements despite undertaking not to publish misleading claims. Consequently, the Court issued notices to Patanjali Ayurved and its Managing Director, Acharya Balakrishna, for alleged contempt, restraining further advertisements until further notice.

The Court’s firm stance underscores the need for compliance with regulations and ethical advertising practices, ensuring consumer protection and fair competition in the market. 

Vakilsearch experts emphasise the significance of regulatory compliance and ethical advertising practices. The Court’s stern stance, particularly Justice Amanullah’s assertion that ‘the entire country has been taken for a ride,’ highlights the urgency of addressing misleading claims in the healthcare sector. The Court’s demand for a detailed affidavit from the Union, coupled with warnings of consequences for non-compliance, underscores the importance of government accountability in enforcing the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act of 1954. Vakilsearch experts suggest that proactive regulatory measures and swift government action are essential to curb false claims and ensure public well-being.

Akash G Varadaraj