Supreme Court slams government over Patanjali Ayurved’s misleading ads

The Supreme Court criticized the government for its inaction regarding “misleading and false” advertisements by Patanjali Ayurved, co-owned by Baba Ramdev. Expressing dismay, the court remarked that the entire nation is being misled by such ads and urged the government to take immediate action.

The bench directed Patanjali Ayurved to halt all electronic and print advertisements containing misleading information about its medicines with immediate effect.

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This development stems from a plea by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) in August 2022, which prompted the Supreme Court to issue notices to the Union Health Ministry, Ministry of Ayush, and Patanjali Ayurved Ltd. The IMA accused Ramdev Baba of running a smear campaign against vaccination and modern medicine.

In November 2023, the Supreme Court cautioned Patanjali Ayurved against disseminating “false” and “misleading” claims in its advertisements.

Former Chief Justice NV Ramana, heading the bench at that time, expressed concern over the tone of the advertisements, urging Ramdev Baba not to criticize other medical systems and practitioners. The court also pressed the Centre’s counsel to find a solution to the issue of misleading medical ads.

The IMA cited various commercials that portrayed allopathy and doctors negatively, alleging that companies producing ayurvedic medicines were making disparaging remarks to mislead the public. These ads even suggested that medical practitioners themselves were dying despite using modern medicines, according to the IMA’s counsel.