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Had cautioned Patanjali against publicizing Coronil as COVID cure: Centre informs Supreme Court

The Ministry of AYUSH has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court ahead of a contempt hearing against Patanjali, criticizing the company for promoting Coronil as a cure for COVID-19 without proper examination. The affidavit emphasizes the freedom of individuals to choose between Ayush and allopathic medicine and advocates for mutual respect among different medical systems.

Had cautioned Patanjali against publicizing Coronil as COVID cure: Centre informs Supreme Court
First Published Apr 10, 2024, 9:22 AM IST

Ahead of the contempt hearing case against Patanjali, the Ministry of AYUSH has submitted an affidavit to the Supreme Court, critiquing Patanjali for undermining the effectiveness of allopathic medicines. The affidavit underscores that during the COVID-19 pandemic, Patanjali was cautioned against promoting Coronil as a cure for the virus until it underwent thorough examination by the AYUSH Ministry.

Furthermore, the affidavit reiterates that individuals have the liberty to choose between the Ayush system or allopathic medicine for their healthcare requirements. The government's response was prompted by concerns surrounding Patanjali's promotion of Coronil, which was flagged for scrutiny by the AYUSH Ministry.

The affidavit emphasizes the need for mutual respect among different systems of medicine and discourages the disparagement of any specific system. It advocates for an integrative healthcare approach, where Ayush systems are integrated with allopathy, allowing individuals to make informed decisions about their healthcare preferences.

The AYUSH ministry's proactive stance reflects the seriousness with which it regards the issue, addressing representations received regarding Coronil and issuing a notice to Patanjali to refrain from advertising claims about Coronil's efficacy against COVID-19 until thoroughly reviewed by the ministry.

The affidavit concludes by affirming the government's commitment to promoting a comprehensive healthcare system that utilizes the strengths of each system for the betterment of citizens' health, urging practitioners to refrain from denigrating other systems of medicine.

Meanwhile, Ramdev and Patanjali Ayurved's managing director, Acharya Balkrishna, have tendered an unconditional apology to the Supreme Court following criticism for not adhering to the undertaking given in a case related to misleading advertisements.

They expressed regret for the oversight and assured the court that it would not recur. The Supreme Court is scheduled to announce its final decision on the matter on April 10.

Patanjali Ayurved Ltd pledged to the apex court on November 21 of the previous year not to breach any laws, particularly those related to product advertising or branding. It further guaranteed the court that no statements implying medicinal efficacy or criticizing any medical system would be disseminated to the media.

The court had deemed it necessary to issue a show cause notice to Ramdev as advertisements released by Patanjali contradicted the undertaking given to the court on November 21, 2023, suggesting his endorsement.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court criticized Patanjali Ayurved's defense for disseminating misleading advertisements, dismissing the apologies from yoga guru Ramdev and the company's managing director Acharya Balkrishna as insincere. 

The bench, led by Justice Hima Kohli, also questioned the government's alleged inaction over Patanjali's exaggerated claims about its product efficacy and derogatory remarks against allopathy during the height of the Covid pandemic, asking why the authorities chose to turn a blind eye.

The bench scheduled the next hearing for April 10, stipulating the presence of both Ramdev and Balkrishna. It admonished them for their failure to abide by the undertaking given to the court, expressing scepticism toward their apologies. The court took serious note of their blatant disregard for the undertaking made in the case filed by the Indian Medical Association.

Strongly disapproving Balkrishna's assertion that the Drugs and Cosmetics (Magic Remedies) Act is outdated, the court rebuked Patanjali Ayurved's advertisements as violating the Act and flouting the commitment given to the court.

The bench cautioned Ramdev and Balkrishna, both present in court, to be prepared to face the consequences.

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