Patanjali Misleading Ads Case

Supreme Court: In a petition filed by the Indian Medical Association (‘IMA’) against an alleged false campaign carried out by Patanjali and its founders against the COVID-19 vaccination and modern medicine, the division bench of Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah, JJ. has said that the company should not be allowed to sell products for which licences were suspended. Further, the Bench issued directions on the issue of misleading ads.

The Bench noted that the misleading advertisements for Patanjali products, which have now been prohibited, are still available on certain online platforms

The Court has also issued notice to the IMA President and asked him to respond by 14-05-2024 on certain comments allegedly made against the Court in a media interview.

The Court also said it wishes to examine objectionable advertisements by other consumer goods suppliers and unethical practices reported in modern medicine.

Concerning misleading ads, the Court issued the following directions:

  • Broadcasters or print media have to file a self-declaration form before carrying any advertisements, assuring that the advertisement to be carried on its platform complies with Cable Network Rules, Advertising Code etc.

  • Ministries were directed to set up a specific procedure which will encourage the consumer to lodge a complaint and for the said complaint to be taken to a logical conclusion instead of simply being endorsed or marked.

  • Persons who endorse a product should have adequate information or experience with specific food product to be endorsed, and it must be ensured that it is must not be deceptive.

  • Celebrities and social media influencers will be equally liable for misleading ads, if they endorse any deceptive product or service.

  • The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution was ordered to file a fresh affidavit on action taken by Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) on false or misleading ads, particularly in the food and health sector.

  • – The Court took on record that the Central government has decided to withdraw an August 2023 letter putting on hold the invocation of Rule 170 of Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 against misleading AYUSH ads.

The Court also noted that the Central Government has decided to withdraw an August 2023 letter, putting on hold the invocation of Rule 170 of Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 against misleading AYUSH ads.

Source: Press

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