Legal Issues Over Rashtra Rishi’s Coronil Claims

Must Read

What is the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016?

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (“RERA”) is an Act of the Parliament. It seeks to protect...

Should the Exorbitant Amounts Charged for RT-PCR Tests be Refunded?

Introduction A plea has been filed in the Honourable Supreme Court of India seeking a refund of exorbitant amounts charged...

Should CCTV’s be Installed in the Police Station?

Introduction In a recent judgment, the bench led by Justice Nariman issued directions to both the state and Union Territory...

A Legal Analysis of the West Bengal Political Crisis on IPS Deputation

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has recently summoned three IPS officers of West Bengal (WB). The decision was...

Explained: Postal Ballot for NRIs

At the end of November 2020, Election Commission sent a proposal to the law ministry to amend the Representation...

Explained: Constitutional Provisions and Legislations With Regards to a Person with Disabilities

The world celebrates December 3 as International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). This day is also called World...

Follow us

As countries scuffle with the global pandemic, pseudoscientific Ayurvedic solutions mislead public attention. One of them is Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali which has recently launched the Corona Kit. It claims to cure COVID-19 in 7 days. But, the Ayush Ministry did not approve of it. It directed Patanjali to stop advertising such cures that were not authenticated. 

During this pandemic, jittery patients are eager to get a cure for Corona. These claims divert their attention the most. Aren’t such false claims diverting public faith towards pseudoscientific treatments? Aren’t such claims daunting when it comes to public health?

Patanjali’s Coronil: A Brief Background

This is not the first time that YOG GURU has developed a miraculous drug for curing people’s maladies. However, miracles like these couldn’t get a clean chit from authorities. In December 2016, Patanjali was fined Rs. 11 Lakhs for misleading advertisements. The ASCI had pulled up Patanjali for misleading ads. These were for honey, jam, and mustard oil, which were substandard. It is surprising that even after this, public trust remains unruffled.

After a dubious past, Patanjali has now launched its Corona Kit. It is clinically tested (after CTRI approval) and is an evidence-based drug. Uttarakhand authorities had licensed Patanjali for immunity tablets and not for COVID-19. Moreover, there had been previous AYUSH orders for stopping advertisements for Corona cures. Another notification of the Ministry was for following the protocol. Also, apprising the Ministry of research development was also mentioned. Yet, Patanjali hadn’t mentioned the results before the launch of the miraculous elixir. 

Legal Roadway against Patanjali’s Trust Erosion Drive

Such pseudoscientific cures come under the ambit of Drugs and Magic Remedies Act, 1954. The unverified claims of Patanjali come under Section 4, punishment against misleading advertisements. Rule 170 of the Drugs and Cosmetic Rules, 2018 also forbids the advertising of AYUSH drugs. Especially for therapeutic purposes. Patanjali has already launched and advertised it via a press conference in Haridwar. Moreover, previous orders from the AYUSH Ministry had already forbidden such advertising. 

Other legal paths against such misleading advertisements also exist. Some of them are-

  • Section 21 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 granting power to grant directions. 
  • Rule 7 of Cable Television Network Rules, 1994 preventing advertisements suffering from irregularities. 
  • Section 6 of the Cable Television Network Regulation Act, 1995 prohibiting advertisements. The prohibition was for advertisements not adhering to the Code.

Eroding public trust comes with a cost. A Criminal Complaint has also been filed against Baba Ramdev and Patanjali’s MD. The complaint was filed because Patanjali was putting people’s health at stake. The complainant, Tamanna Hashmi has levelled the charge of cheating. Other charges levelled were criminal conspiracy and spreading dangerous diseases. Maharashtra Government has also banned the sale of Unapproved mystical drug Coronil.

Intermediary Liability against Misleading Advertisements

The accountability- responsibility threshold increases for intermediaries. The intermediaries can attract greater attention during the lockdown. This is because no other platform is accessible. The Intermediary guidelines, 2011 was a rescue measure. This was brought in to prevent the intermediaries from taking up the safe harbour veil. However, more proactive steps are also required. 

Self-censorship rather than the take-down approach is more relevant. An example of this is the Information Trust Alliance by Facebook and Google. One can also refer to the Disaster Management Act and the Epidemic Diseases Act. 

Another rescue comes in the form of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019. It has new guidelines for the e-commerce sector. The Act has provisions for holding manufacturers and endorsers accountable for misleading consumers. The only exception is if it is in the ordinary course of business.

International Steps in Curbing Misleading Advertisements

The ICAS, EASA, and CONARED had taken up a joint statement. The joint statement was against false and misleading advertisements. The ASA (UKs self-regulatory system) has issued guidance on responsible advertising.

The new fast track reporting form launched in the UK has worked hard to contact brands and remove them. They have also launched an online service to combat COVID 19 fake ads. Intermediaries like- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube have also taken up measures to block misleading ads.

Major trends of fraud during COVID has also shifted consumer behavioural patterns. More than 22,000 consumer complaints are lying with FTC in the USA. Japan’s FSA and NPA have started conducting joint investigations. This will entrap illegal lenders. Such steps can curb misleading advertisements saving public health and genuine businesses’ plight.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Misleading advertising is on a hike due to consumer demands. Rising misuse of public trust has also worsened the situation. Patanjali’s Coronil claims have eroded public trust and put their health at stake. Emotional and pseudoscientific appeals by YOGA Guru keeps them relaxed. Even so, it threatens their health more. The legal framework can help, provided some consumer awareness online campaigns operate.

Enforcement mechanisms can protect them from falling prey to such false claims. Some of the immediate steps are as follows:

1. Raising Consumer Awareness: Apprising Consumers of false claims through online campaigning can work wonders.

2. Establishing Dialogue with Businesses: Sharing information with businesses can make them aware of possible fraud.

3. International Co-operation and Sharing Experiences: The OECD Global Recalls Portal has a pool of international measures against such advertisements. These can help nations choose amongst the best.

4. Self-Responsibility by Intermediaries: Self-responsibility measures by intermediaries can help getting rid of misleading ads. These measures can be blocking, take-down measures, and censoring.

With such plausible mechanisms, the Government can abate misleading ads related to COVID-19.


Libertatem.in is now on Telegram. Follow us for regular legal updates and judgements from the court. Follow us on Google News, InstagramLinkedInFacebook & Twitter. You can also subscribe for our Weekly Email Updates. You can also contribute stories like this and help us spread awareness for a better society. Submit Your Post Now.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest News

WhatsApp Emails Delhi HC Judge Asking Her Not To Hear the Plea Challenging New Privacy Policy

The Delhi High Court raised strong objection to an E-mail sent by WhatsApp asking a judge not to hear the plea which challenges its new privacy policy. Justice Pratibha Singh said that the e-mail that was withdrawn later was totally unwarranted as she was anyway going to recuse from hearing the plea which was filed by Rohilla Chaitanya who contends that the new privacy policy of WhatsApp provides 360-degree access to a customer’s virtual activity and is against the fundamental right of privacy.

TRP Scam Case: Bombay HC Extends Protection To Arnab Goswami and Other Employees Till the Next Hearing

On Friday, the Bombay High court extended the protection that was given, to Republic TV’s Editor in Chief Arnab Goswami and other employees of ARG Outlier Media Private Limited till January 29th in the alleged case of Television Rating Point manipulation. A status report was submitted by the police to the division bench of Justices S.S.Shinde and Manish Pitale by the Police on the ongoing case.

Plea Seeks FIR Against Maharashtra Minister Dhananjay Munde in Bombay HC for False Info

A plea has been filed in Bombay High Court seeking an FIR against Maharashtra minister Dhananjay Munde who is undergoing times of trouble due to his extra-marital affair. Recently, an FIR had been lodged against Munde by a woman, accusing him of raping her sister. Munde clarified that he was actually in a relationship with that woman and had two children. He accused the two women of blackmailing him.

Writ Petition for Compensation Accepted by Calcutta High Court 

Introduction The Petitioner Purna Ch. Biswas filed a Writ Petition with the complaint that their claims for a higher quantum of compensation have not yet...

No Members Could Be Disqualified Without Authorisation by Political Party: Gujarat High Court

Excerpt The dispute application no.7 of 2020 filed by respondent no.2 before designated authority. Thereafter the designated authority order dated 28.10.2020 disqualified the petitioner and...

Delhi High Court Directs Delhi Jal Board To Make Supply of Potable Drinking Water

The High Court of Delhi in the matter of Delhi Sainik Cooperation Housing Ltd. v. Union of India & Ors held that right to...

Punjab & Haryana High Court Orders Security To BJP Leader Alleged for Not Supporting Farmers Protest

The Order had come in the form of a Writ Petition filed by Tikshan Sood under Article 226 of the Constitution. The petition before...

Lahore High Court Outlaws Two-Finger Virginity Test

The Lahore High Court in Pakistan has outlawed the use and conduct of virginity tests, namely, the use of the “two-finger” virginity test and...

London Court Rejects Assange’s Extradition – What Happens Now? 

Earlier last week, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser, sitting in the Westminster Magistrates’ Court denied the Government of the U.S.A.'s request to the U.K. to...

Calcutta High Court Decides in Favor of Contractor as He Accidentally Pays an Excessively High Amount

Introduction The present writ petition has been filed for a writ in the nature of mandamus commanding the Respondents to revoke the Petitioner’s offer as...

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -