A day after the Supreme Court cautioned Patanjali Ayurved against making "false" claims in advertisements about its medicines, co-founder Baba Ramdev on wednesday defended his company and alleged that a group of doctors had been orchestrating propaganda against Ayurveda.
"We respect the Supreme Court, but we are not engaged in any false propaganda," stated Ramdev during a press conference in Haridwar. He emphasised their willingness to face any punishment if proven guilty of propagating misleading information.
"A few doctors have formed a group that continuously does propaganda against yoga, Ayurveda, etc... If we are liars, then fine us ₹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," he added.
The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, directed the Centre to devise a mechanism to curb misleading advertisements claiming cures for all diseases. The bench, headed by Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah, reprimanded Baba Ramdev and Patanjali for making disparaging remarks against modern medicine. The court observed, "This is a blatant infraction of the law. We will take it very seriously if you continue, and may impose a cost of ₹1 crore on every product."
The directive came in response to a petition by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) seeking action against misleading advertisements. The IMA also petitioned against ads questioning the efficacy of allopathic medicines.
"We want to find a real solution to the problem of misleading advertisements making false claims about curing a particular disease," stated the bench, also comprising Justice PK Mishra.
This development follows the Supreme Court's issuance of notices to the Union health ministry, Ministry of Ayush, and Patanjali Ayurved Ltd on August 23, 2022. The notices were in response to the IMA's plea alleging a smear campaign by Ramdev against the vaccination drive and modern medicines.