The Kerala Drugs Control Department on Monday filed a case against yoga guru Ramdev and his company Divya Pharmacy in a Kozhikode court for placing “misleading” advertisements in Malayalam and English language newspapers, reported The Hindu.

The complaint was filed by the Drugs Inspector, Office of the Assistant Drugs Controller, Kozhikode, in the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court IV. Along with Ramdev, Patanjali Ayurved’s Managing Director Balkrishna has also been accused in the case. Both Ramdev and Balkrishna are functionaries of the Divya Yoga Mandir (Trust) that runs Divya Pharmacy.

The state department has alleged that Divya Pharmacy advertised pharmaceutical products that falsely claimed to cure sexual impotence and diabetes, The New Indian Express reported. It said the diseases are among the 54 ailments for which cures should not be advertised, under the Drugs and Magic Remedies Objectionable Advertisements Act.

In February 2022, Kannur-based ophthalmologist KV Babu filed a complaint against Divya Pharmacy. Subsequently, the Kerala Drugs Control Department had ordered an inquiry that revealed multiple instances of the pharmaceutical firm violating the Act, The Hindu reported.

Between April 2022 and October 2023, seven violations were found in Kozhikode, six in Ernakulam, five each in Thrissur and Kollam, four in Thiruvananthapuram, and two in Kannur, in Malayalam and English-language newspapers.

The complaint came a day before the Supreme Court granted Balkrishna and Ramdev, the co-founder of Patanjali Ayurved, a last opportunity to file affidavits of compliance in the contempt proceedings initiated against them for “misleading” advertisements.

The Indian Medical Association, the petitioner in the case, alleged that Patanjali Ayurved had carried out a “smear campaign” against modern medicine and the Covid-19 vaccination drive.

On Tuesday, a bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah criticised the company for the affidavit submitted by Balkrishna on March 20, apologising for releasing the advertisements and said that it was a “gross violation of the undertaking given to the top court”.

On February 27, Patanjali Ayurved and Balkrishna were issued notices for contempt of court for continuing to publish “misleading advertisements” regarding Patanjali’s purported medicinal cures, despite the company making assurances to the Supreme Court in November that it would stop advertising such products.

The court has temporarily restrained Patanjali Ayurved from advertising any of its products meant to treat specific diseases and disorders listed in the Drugs and Magic Remedies Objectionable Advertisements Act.