afaqs! news bureau

Patanjali ad row: SC turns its focus on misleading ads by other FMCG brands

The SC has asked the Centre about the steps taken to prevent other misleading ads from the FMCG sector.

The Supreme Court has asked the Central Government about the steps taken to prevent ads from other FMCG companies that may be producing misleading ads in the ongoing case against Patanjali founder Baba Ramdev, initiated by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

The court further ordered the ministries of consumer affairs, information and broadcasting, and IT to examine potential violations of the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act, Drugs and Cosmetics Act, and the Consumer Protection Act, and directed them to become parties in the ongoing case.

According to media reports, while hearing the plea against Patanjali, the bench noted that FMCG firms were publishing misleading ads too which were affecting the public, especially children and the elderly. The court said this was a case of public interest and hence the scope should be expanded to all FMCG companies beyond Patanjali.

“Now, we are looking at everything… we are looking at children, babies, women, and no one can be taken for a ride and the Union government must wake up to this," the bench stated.

Meanwhile, the court also called out the petitioner, the Indian Medical Association (IMA), over its doctors allegedly endorsing expensive and unnecessary medicines in allopathy.

The case against Patanjali

The Indian Medical Association had moved to the courts against Patanjali Ayurved- an FMCG brand for running advertising campaigns that claimed its products cures diseases like diabetes and blood pressure among others.

This is Patanjali's second row with the Supreme Court. The court had slammed the brand for producing misleading ads last year as well. This time, the court  initiated contempt proceedings against Baba Ramdev, the founder and Acharya Balkrishna, MD of the company.

The Supreme Court had also asked the company to  tender a public apology and show contrition. The court had also stated that the company will not be totally off the hooks, after which the company published a number of print ads apologising for 'releasing deceptive medical advertising that violated the pledge made to the highest court'.

However, the Supreme Court had dismissed the apology offered by the company.

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