SC warns Patanjali for circulating misleading ads with Rs 1 crore fine!

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court warned Yoga guru Ramdev and Patanjali Ayurved that a fine of Rs 1 crore would be imposed for every “misleading” advertisement by the company about permanent cures through its various medicines.

In 2006, Baba Ramdev founded Patanjali Ayurved Limited, a consumer goods company that manufactures and markets a range of Ayurvedic products, including food items, personal care products, and herbal medicines. Patanjali products gained significant popularity in India and have become a prominent player in the FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) sector.

Baba Ramdev has often criticized the excessive use of pharmaceutical drugs and has raised concerns about their side effects. He believes that Ayurveda, Yoga, and lifestyle modifications can provide effective and holistic solutions for a wide range of health problems. He promotes the use of Ayurvedic medicines, herbal remedies, and yoga practices for maintaining overall well-being and treating specific ailments.

In this case, several state units of the Indian Medical Association filed a case in the Supreme Court regarding the Patanjali advertisement and Baba Ramdev’s comments.

A bench comprising Justice Amanullah and Prashant Kumar Mishra issued the warning while hearing a petition by the IMA alleging that Patanjali carried out a “smear campaign” against modern medicine and the COVID-19 vaccination drive. They have warned and said, “All such false and misleading advertisements of Patanjali Ayurved have to stop immediately. The court will take any such infraction very seriously, and the court will also consider imposing costs to the extent of Rs 1 crore on every product regarding which a false claim is made that it can ‘cure’ a particular disease.”

According to ANI on Wednesday, reacting to the Supreme Court’s order over the misleading advertisements and penalty, yoga guru Baba Ramdev said, “We respect SC. But we are not doing any false propaganda. A few doctors have formed a group that continuously does propaganda against yoga, Ayurveda, etc… If we are liars, then fine us Rs 1000 crore, and we are also ready for the death penalty. But if we are not liars, then punish the ones who are really spreading the false propaganda. For the past 5 years, propaganda has been going on targeting Ramdev and Patanjali…”

Patanjali’s controversies and lies during COVID times:

Earlier Baba Ramdev and the Patanjali company have faced controversies and court reprimands during Covid times.

  • In the year 2020, when all the countries of the world were suffering from the Corona pandemic, Patanjali released two products namely ‘Coronil’ and ‘Swasari’, and announced them as Ayurvedic medicine for the infection of Covid-19.
  • The Ministry of Ayush asked Patanjali to provide at the earliest details like the composition of the medicines, the results of its research, the hospitals where the research was conducted, whether the company had a clearance from the Institutional Ethics Committee, and whether it had registered for the clinical trials.
  • The government also asked the licensing authority of the Uttarakhand government to provide copies of the license and product approval details of the medicines, which were developed at Patanjali’s lab in Haridwar.
  • As per Patanjali’s application, we issued them a license. They didn’t mention coronavirus, we only approved licenses for immunity boosters, cough, and fever. We’ll issue them a notice asking how they got permission to make the kit (for COVID-19),” YS Rawat, Licence Officer at the Uttarakhand Ayurveda Department, was quoted as telling news agency
  • We conducted two trials of these, the first clinical controlled study, which took place in Delhi, and Ahmedabad among many other cities. 280 patients were included and 100 percent of those recovered. We were able to control Corona and its complications in this. After this, the all-important clinical control trial was conducted.
  • Patanjali collaborated with the privately-owned National Institute of Medical Sciences or NIMS University, Jaipur.
  • Interestingly, Jaipur’s NIMS makes a U-turn on the “Coronil” collab with Baba Ramdev and says no clinical trials were conducted.
  • NIMS Chairman, Dr B.S. Tomar said, “There was no clinical trial in our hospital of the drug. There was no serious case in the patients we admitted. Only 100 asymptomatic patients were given a few Ayurvedic medicines under the sponsorship of Patanjali. But we did not prepare any medicine nor did we know its name.”
  • Patanjali Ayurved suffered further controversy not only over the alleged drug but also over the trademark name ‘Coronil’, and was imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh.
  • Justice C V Karthikeyan passed the order while allowing a trademark suit moved by Arudra Engineers Private Limited- registered owner of the trademark ‘Coronil’.
  • “Patanjali and Divya Yog Mandir Trust have invited this litigation on themselves. A simple check with the trademark registry would have revealed that Coronil is a registered trademark. If they had, and had still, with audacity used the name, then they deserve no consideration at all,” the judge said in his 104-page order.
  • He further added them to pay Rs 5 lakh to Adyar Cancer Institute, Chennai, and Rs 5 lakh to Government Yoga and Naturopathy Medical College and Hospital as these are organizations that are helping people without recognition, and treatments here are free of cost.

Baba Ramdev’s speech about Allopathy stirred controversy:

  • In a statement issued by the Indian Medical Association condemning Ramdev’s speech, they requested Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to “either accept the allegations leveled by Ramdev and dissolve the modern (allopathic) medical structures of the country or arrest him under the National Prevention of Epidemics Act.”
  • In their statement, the IMA said that the yoga guru should be prosecuted under the Epidemic Diseases Act because his “untutored” statements are “a threat to the literate society of the country as well as to the poor people falling prey to him.”

  • Balkrishna, the general secretary of the Patanjali Yogpeeth, later clarified that the video in which Ramdev can be heard making the statement was truncated, and that the yoga guru has no ill-will towards modern science and its practitioners.
  • “It is necessary to mention that the event was a private event and Swami jee was reading out a forwarded WhatsApp message received by him and various other members who were participating in the event,” the statement claimed. It said that Ramdev has “utmost regards” for all doctors and supporting staff who have been working day and night during the coronavirus pandemic.

Donations to Patanjali are tax-deductible:

In July 2021, the Indian Revenue Department announced a five- year- tax exemption for donors to Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Research Foundation, which has been spreading false propaganda about allopathic medicine and doctors.

“It is a requirement under section 35(1)(ii) of the Income Tax Act that an entity when found to be genuinely into scientific research the approval should be notified. Usually, it’s a long process and the department does its due diligence before giving such approval, and hence each approval is notified through official notification,” says Surabhi Ahluwalia, official spokesperson of CBDT.

Even though such allegations are leveled against Baba Ramdev and his company Patanjali, many BJP leaders including Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are in close contact with him.

Initially they deceived people by selling immunity boosters in the name of cure for Corona, then they slandered modern doctors(allopathy) and medicine, now they are trying to mislead  people by making false promises about their products.

We the people should do our own research always before buying any products especially when its advertised for health benefits or medicinal purposes.

Beware its always best to consult a doctor and not fall prey to misleading TV advertisements.

LINKS:

Supreme Court tells Baba Ramdev it will impose ₹1 crore costs per false claim in Patanjali Ayurved ads

‘Give death penalty if we…’: Yoga guru Ramdev on Supreme Court warning Patanjali

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