SC slams Uttarakhand SLA for its failure to take action against Patanjali

New Delhi, April 30 (UNI) The Supreme Court on Tuesday slammed the Uttarakhand State Licensing Authority (SLA) for its failure to take action against Patanjali Ayurved for several years.

A Bench comprising Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah said, “SLA appears to have chosen to act against Patanjali’s misleading advertisements only after we passed strictures and made strong observations against it.’

The Apex Court said that the ‘SLA acted after we passed strictures and within 7-8 days you did all which was to be done by you earlier. How do you explain inaction for years?’

‘Why did you violate the orders of your superior authorities who directed you to conduct an inspection? ‘Why for 6 years, everything was in limbo?” the Court asked.

The SC said that the SLA seems to have realised its powers only after its orders.

The Top Court reprimanding SLA further said that when you want to move, you move like lightning! And when you don’t want to you don’t.

The Court also made it clear that the licencing authority should be truthful and candid if it wants any leeway from the Court. “If you want sympathy and compassion, then tell us, that is the only thing that will save you! To say ‘I am too small a fry to take action’ – that would also be honesty,” Justice Amanullah said.

The Bench was hearing a plea filed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) against the campaign carried out by Patanjali and its founders Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna against the COVID-19 vaccination drive and modern medicine.

The Court today also took exception to an interview given recently by the IMA president which allegedly criticised the Court for “pointing fingers” at the association during the last hearing of the case.

In November 2023, the Supreme Court warned Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev that it would impose a cost of Rs 1 crore per false claim made in each advertisement which claimed that Patanjali products would cure diseases. The top court also directed Patanjali not to publish such false advertisements in future.

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