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SC Pulls Up Uttarakhand Licensing Body Over 'Inaction' On Patanjali's Violations | Key Updates

In the Patanjali misleading advertisements case, the Supreme Court of India has accused the Uttarakhand State Licensing Authority over its "inaction" over Ramdev's misleading ads. Along with this, the top court has exempted Ramdev and Balkrishna from making a personal appearance during the next hearing.

PTI
SC Pulls Up Uttarakhand Licensing Body Over 'Inaction' On Patanjali's Violations Photo: PTI
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The Supreme Court of India has pulled up the Uttarakhand State Licensing Body over its "inaction" regarding Patanjali's various violations of the Drug and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act of 1954. Upon resuming the misleading ads case hearing on Wednesday, the top court held the licensing body accountable for failing to act on time.

The matter was heard by the bench comprising of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah. The top court accused the licensing authority for keeping its "eyes shut deliberately".

The Uttarakhand Licensing Authority issued a notice on Monday, announcing that it has revoked the licenses of 14 Patanjali products made by Baba Ramdev's Divya Pharmacy. The licenses were suspended with immediate effect.

As per the state body, the manufacturing licenses were revoked due to the "numerous violations" by Patanjali and the misleading ads published regarding the effects of the products.

Patanjali Misleading Ads Case: Key Updates

  • The Uttarakhand Body was pulled up by the SC over its "inaction". “Be honest to court if you want sympathy and compassion. Our main concern is whether you took action in accordance with law. It appears Uttarakhand State Licensing Authority acted only after apex court's April 10 order," the top court observed.

  • Baba Ramdev and his aide Archarya Balkrishna have been exempted by the Supreme Court from making a personal appearance in the next hearing.

  • Furthermore, Ramdev and Balkrishna have also been asked to file on record the original page of each newspaper in which Patanjali has issued its public apology.

  • Ramdev's exemption was granted as the Supreme Court found that the apology published in the newspapers showed an improvement. "The ads are now bigger, new ad also mentions Baba Ramdev, the language is adequate. For now, we will allow exemption only for the next date of hearing," observed the top court.

  • The next hearing has been scheduled for May 7 and May 14.

In the previous hearings, the Supreme Court had pulled up Ramdev and his aide Balkrishna for their "microscopic" apologies and asked the ayurveda company to publish apologies that matched the "size and font of their misleading advertisements".

Along with Patanjali, the IMA and FMCG companies were also held accountable for the misleading ads and for "taking the public for a ride".

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