The Advertising Standards Council of India had also rapped Patanjali for "false and misleading" ads earlier this year.

Rs 11 lakh fine imposed on Baba Ramdevs Patanjali for misleading advertisementsPTI
news Court Thursday, December 15, 2016 - 13:26

A Haridwar court has imposed a fine of Rs 11 lakh on Baba Ramdev's FMCG venture Patanjali Ayurved Ltd. on the grounds of "misbranding and putting up misleading advertisements" of their products. 

Five production units of the company have been ordered to pay the fine within a month's time, PTI reported. 

"The products were found to be in violation of sections 52-53 of Food Security norms and section 23.1 (5) of Food safety and Standard (packaging and labelling) regulation," the report said. 

In 2012, the District Food Safety Department had sent some samples of a few Patanjali products, including mustard oil, honey and besan, for testing. The samples however failed quality tests at a Rudrapur laboratory after which the department filed a case against the company in the court.

“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,” Yogendra Pandey, Haridwar Food Safety Officer, told The Hindu.

In May this year, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) rapped Patanjali Ayurved Ltd. for "false and misleading" advertisements that also "denigrate" rival products.

The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of the ad watchdog, which released a statement on the complaints it dealt with in March, also found three of Patanjali's product advertisements to be guilty of "ambiguity" and making claims that were described as "gross exaggeration".

The CCC received 156 complaints against ads during the month, and upheld 90, including those by Patanjali- under categories such as "education", "healthcare and personal care", "food and beverages" and others.

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore had told the Lok Sabha in a written reply in August that there were 33 complaints received during the last one year against Patanjali for self-regulation of advertising content as per the findings of CCC.

Earlier this month, the yoga guru turned businessman had said that Patanjali Ayurved is looking at shoring up its production to Rs one lakh crore by 2020.

"Patanjali has been registering 100 per cent growth for the last four years and this year too we have been growing at the same pace. Our target is to take our in-house production to Rs 50,000 crore in the next two-three years and ultimately reach the target of Rs one lakh crore by 2020," Ramdev said.

"Our imports consist of over Rs 25 lakh crore while another Rs 25 lakh crore is taken away by foreign companies. If we need to break this hegemony and our dependence on foreign companies, we need in-house production of at least Rs.100 lakh crore. Our endeavour is to create and promote Indian entrepreneurship," he added.

(With agency inputs)