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HomeLatest NewsSupreme Court Criticizes Uttarakhand Authorities for Inaction Against Patanjali Over Misleading Claims

Supreme Court Criticizes Uttarakhand Authorities for Inaction Against Patanjali Over Misleading Claims

New Delhi, April 11: The Supreme Court delivered a scathing rebuke to Uttarakhand authorities over their failure to act against Patanjali Ayurved, founded by Yoga guru Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna, for promoting misleading claims about their products. The court’s stern comments questioned the welfare of countless individuals who had consumed these medicines touted to cure incurable diseases.

The bench, comprising Justice Hima Kohli and Justice A Amanullah, dismissed apologies from Ramdev and Balkrishna, indicating it will issue a ruling on April 16. This follows a nearly three-year effort by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) to challenge deceptive assertions made by Ramdev and Patanjali.

The controversy escalated when Ramdev launched Coronil in February 2021, asserting it as the “first evidence-based medicine for COVID-19.” Despite claims of WHO certification, the World Health Organization clarified it had not endorsed any traditional medicine for COVID-19 treatment.

The IMA denounced the “blatant lie” of WHO certification, especially since the launch event was attended by the then Union Health Minister, Harsh Vardhan. Ramdev later made controversial remarks about allopathy, sparking legal action by the IMA and demands for accountability from the health minister.

The BBC reported that Patanjali had sought to reclassify Coronil’s license from an “immunity booster” to a COVID-19 remedy, leading to confusion about its intended use. The AYUSH Ministry clarified that Coronil was not a cure for COVID-19 but a supportive measure.

In response to misleading advertisements, the Supreme Court warned Patanjali in November 2023 against claiming cures for diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. Subsequently, the court criticized Patanjali for violating its order and failing to provide a satisfactory response.

Despite subsequent apologies, the Supreme Court remained unsatisfied, noting that apologies were initially sent to the media rather than the court. Justice Kohli expressed concern that the company prioritized publicity over compliance.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing Patanjali’s founders, defended the apologies but faced skepticism from the bench about their sincerity.

The court’s rebuke underscores broader concerns about accountability in promoting healthcare products and the need for stringent regulation to prevent misleading claims that could endanger public health.

The hearing will resume on April 16, with the Supreme Court poised to take decisive action against Patanjali for flouting legal obligations and disregarding judicial directives.

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