The Karnataka High Court on Monday dismissed a PIL that sought a ban on Patanjali Ayurved's health medicine that promises male offspring.
SS Ravishankar, a resident of Palace Guttahalli in Bengaluru, was the petitioner who sought the ban on the medicine for misleading the public by asserting that after consuming the medicine, a woman can conceive a male child and asked for records pertaining to how the product was allowed to be manufactured, marketed and sold, as reported by the Deccan herald.
Patanjali Ayurved's Divya Putrajeevak Beej has been under the scanner of the country's advertising watchdog Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).
A division bench comprising Chief Justice SK Mukherjee and Justice Ravi Malimath dismissed the PIL as Additional Solicitor General Prabhulinga K Navadgi informed the court that according to the Ayush ministry, the medicine in question has nothing to do with the guarantee of having a male child and is, in fact, prescribed for improving menstrual cycles in women. The bench directed the petitioner to approach the authorities concerned.
Divya Putrajeevak Beej has been consistently under scrutiny ever since the matter was addressed in Parliament last year after Janata Dal (United) MP KC Tyagi demanded in the Rajya Sabha action against Ramdev for selling the medicine.
Patanjali has also courted controversy earlier for its alleged claims about products such as Dant Kanti, mustard oil (Kachi Ghani), fruit juices and cattle feed (Dhugdhamrit).
Despite claims by Patanjali that said Dant Kanti is "effective against pyorrhoea, swelling and bleeding of gums, yellowing of teeth, sensitivity and bad breath" and "protects your teeth for a longer time and provides a natural shield against germs," ASCI ruled that these assertion were not substantiated and are misleading, according to a report by the Times of India.
Patanjali was also pulled up earlier by India's advertising watchdog for "unfairly denigrating" other products in the market in its advertisements.
ASCI has recently signed MoU with the country's apex food regulator, the Food Safety and Standards Regulator of India (FSSAI), to check misleading ads in the food and beverage sector to ensure that it's taking measures to prevent consumers from getting duped. Out of a total of 141 complaints, ASCI upheld complaints against 67.
Apart from Patanjali, companies such as HUL, P&G, Kellogg India, L'Oreal India and Colgate-Palmolive were also pulled up for misleading claims in their advertisements.