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PMO push forced Uttarakhand to act against Patanjali

In addition to suspending 14 products of Patanjali Ayurved, the government initiated legal proceedings in the Haridwar CJM court for violating the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act on April 16.

Screenshot 2024 05 05 082329NEW DELHI : The Uttarakhand government’s decision to revoke licences for 14 Patanjali Ayurved products occurred following a directive from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) regarding appropriate action on an RTI complaint against Baba Ramdev for repeated violations of an Act dealing with misleading advertisements of Ayush products.

In addition to suspending 14 products of the Baba Ramdev-owned Patanjali Ayurved, the state government initiated legal proceedings in the Haridwar CJM court for violating the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act on April 16.

Both actions by the State Drug Licensing Authority were prompted by the PMO’s directive, which instructed the Ayush ministry on January 24 to take necessary measures.

The PMO’s directive to take action against Ramdev followed after RTI activist Dr. K V Babu wrote to the Prime Minister’s Office on January 15, highlighting Patanjali Ayurved’s repeated infringements of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954. The PMO directed authorities to inform Babu about the action taken.

In response to Babu, the State Drug Licensing Authority (SDLA) in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, acknowledged that the PMO had instructed them to investigate his complaint and take appropriate action.

“It is to be informed that Dr. Babu KV has complained about misleading advertisements of certain medicines manufactured by Divya Pharmacy and Patanjali Ayurved Limited,” said the response dated April 23. Babu received the response on April 30.

The response noted that numerous complaints were received, and warnings/clarifications/notices were issued to the concerned pharmacies several times. However, despite these warnings, misleading advertisements related to certain medicines persisted, prompting the SDLA to take disciplinary action under the Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Dr. Mithilesh Kumar, Joint Director of SDLA, stated that disciplinary action was taken under the Drug and Cosmetic Act Rule 159 for not following instructions regarding the said medicines. Additionally, cases were filed under the Drug and Magic Remedies Act against the operators of the pharmacy in the Haridwar CJM court on April 16, 2024.

Babu, who has tirelessly pursued action against Ramdev for the past two years, expressed his frustration with the state authorities’ lack of action, necessitating intervention from the PMO and the Supreme Court. The state government, which faced criticism from the Supreme Court for failing to act against Patanjali Ayurved despite repeated violations, informed the apex court on April 30 about the measures it had taken. It also issued an apology and pledged not to disobey any orders of the Supreme Court deliberately or wilfully.

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