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Supreme Court orders Baba Ramdev, Acharya Balkrishna to appear personally in contempt case over Patanjali ads

The bench further directed Ramdev to provide reasons why contempt proceedings should not commence against him.

NEW DELHI:  The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued show cause notice to Baba Ramdev over misleading advertisements by Patanjali Ayurved and directed him to appear before it.

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As reported by PTI, a bench of justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah took strong exception to the failure of the company and Balkrishna in filing replies to the court’s notices issued to them earlier to show why contempt proceedings be not initiated against them for prima facie violating the undertaking given to the court.

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The bench further directed Ramdev to provide reasons why contempt proceedings should not commence against him.

The Supreme Court was addressing a petition from the Indian Medical Association (IMA), which accused Ramdev of conducting a smear campaign against the vaccination effort and contemporary medical practices.

In November 2023, the Supreme Court objected to Patanjali Ayurved making ‘false’ claims to cure diseases in its advertisements and threatened to impose costs on the company for resorting to such practices.

“All false and misleading advertisements of Patanjali Ayurved have to stop immediately. This court will take such infractions very seriously, and will consider imposing costs of up to Rs 1 crore on every product regarding which a false claim is made that it can cure a particular disease,” the bench had said.

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However, given that Patanjali continued to publish such misleading and prima facie flouted this undertaking, the Court issued Contempt notice to Patanjali Ayurved and Acharya Balakrishna (Managing Director of Patanjali).

The Court also 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 in the meantime. It further cautioned Patanjali Ayurved from making any statement adverse to any system of medicine.

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