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Patanjali misleading ads case: SC terms IMA president's comments on top court 'unacceptable'

Expressing displeasure over Asokan's comments a day before the top court was slated to hear the matter, a bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah sought his response on an application filed by Patanjali Ayurved Ltd.
shish Tripathi
Last Updated : 07 May 2024, 15:42 IST
Last Updated : 07 May 2024, 15:42 IST

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday questioned influencers and famous personalities for "blind" endorsement of products, saying that they are equally responsible for false and misleading advertisements.

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah said there should be equal responsibility of advertisers and endorsers with regard to misleading ads.

The bench relied upon the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) guidelines, which specifically defined bait advertisements, endorsers, and surrogate advertisements. 

During the hearing of a case against Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev and Patanjali's MD Acharya Balkrishna, the bench asked if the complaints received on the Grievances Against Misleading Advertisements portal were acted upon and if the CCPA guidelines are being adhered to.

"There has to be some answerability from some agency. We are looking this from the point of consumer. Consumer should have a remedy. If there is a system in place, that should work," the bench told Additional Solicitor General K M Nataraj, appearing for the Union government.

During the hearing, the Centre also submitted it would withdraw a letter sent by Ministry of Ayush to all State Licensing Authorities asking them not to take any action against advertisements pertaining to Ayurvedic and Ayush products under Rule 170 of the Drugs and Cosmetic Rules, 1945.

In a related development, the court issued notice to Indian Medical Association President R V Asokan on an application seeking action against him for his alleged contemptuous and scandalous statements against the court.

The court also asked Baba Ramdev's counsel senior advocate Balbir Singh as to why despite suspension of the licenses of some of its products, its advertisements were still available on the internet, websites, and on various channels.

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Published 07 May 2024, 15:42 IST

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