Mumbai: Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved Ltd. has been fined Rs. 11 lakh for indulging in misbranding and misleading advertisement of its products.
In its order, the court of Lalit Narain Mishra, Haridwar’s additional district magistrate, found the company, which is currently eyeing at doubling its revenues from the current Rs 5,000 crore to almost Rs 10,000 crore by the next financial year, guilty of “releasing misleading advertisements by selling certain products with its labels although they were being manufactured by some other firm.”
Citing Section 52 (misbranding) and Section 53 (misleading advertisement) of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 as well as Section 23.1 (5) of Food Safety and Standard (Packaging and Labelling Regulations, 2011) Act, it ordered Patanjali to pay the fine within a month. It also directed the district food safety department to “take appropriate action if there is no improvement in the products in future.”
A case against the company was filed at the ADM’s court in November 2012 after samples of products, including honey, salt, mustard oil, jam and besan (gram flour) picked up for sampling on August 16, 2012, allegedly failed quality tests.
“The case went on for four years and on December 1, the ADM court asked Patanjali Ayurved to pay Rs. 11 lakh as fine for indulging in misbranding and misleading advertising,” said Haridwar Food Safety Officer Yogendra Pandey, under whom the samples were taken and sent for tests.
“It was found that the sampled Patanjali products were being manufactured at other factories and not Patanjali’s production units, but they were being marketed by Patanjali Ayurved Ltd as exclusive Patanjali products. This was Patanjali’s attempt to mislead buyers,” Mr. Pandey said.
The tests were conducted at Uttarakhand’s only FSSAI-certified drugs and food testing lab located at Rudrapur. The case had been ongoing ever since. The order regarding the fine imposed on the company was given by the court on December 1, but became public a day ago.