SC asks Patanjali to place on record IMA chief’s interview terming apex court observations as ‘unfortunate’

Insight Online News

New Delhi, April 30 : The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that it will look into Indian Medical Association (IMA) president Dr RV Asokan’s statement where he termed the oral observations made by the apex court during Patanjali misleading advertisements case against allopathy practitioners as ‘unfortunate’ and ‘very vague and general statement which has demoralised the doctors”

Senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, representing Patanjali Ayurved Ltd, apprised a bench presided over by Justice Hima Kohli that he came across a “very disturbing interview” of Asokan given on Monday to a media outlet.

“He (IMA president) says why the court has turned fingers at us and the court is making unfortunate statements … .This is direct interference with the court’s proceedings,” Rohtagi said.

“Bring it on record. We will deal with it,” said the Bench, also comprising Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah.

Rohtagi, who also represents Swami Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna, said that he would move an application seeking contempt against the IMA president.

The senior counsel sought permission to allow him to bring on record the entire page of newspapers containing the public apology published by Patanjali.

The matter will be taken up for further hearing after two weeks.

Earlier, the top court had questioned if Patanjali’s printed apologies were of the same size as the advertisements.

In an affidavit filed before the apex court, the Uttarakhand government said that its State Licencing Authority has granted permission to file a complaint against Ramdev, Balkrishna, Divya Pharmacy and Patanjali Ayurved Limited for repeated violations of the drug advertisements law and has suspended manufacturing licences for 14 of their products.

The Indian Medical Association has sought action against Patanjali for violation of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 — which prohibits the advertisement of certain products for the treatment of specified diseases and disorders, including diabetes, heart diseases, high or low blood pressure and obesity.

The ayurvedic company had earlier made an undertaking before the top court saying that it would not make any casual statements claiming the medicinal efficacy of its products or advertise or brand them in violation of law and would not release any statement against any system of medicine to the media in any form.

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