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Centre Asks Patanjali To Stop Advertising False Claims To Treat COVID-19

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The Centre has asked Patanjali to stop advertising and publicising its claims about COVID treatment medicines till the issue duly examined. “Unaware of facts and details of stated scientific study,” it said. 

The said statement came a day after when Patanjali announced It has found a way to cure the disease (COVID-19) which has grappled the whole world in chaos. 

Yoga Guru Ramdev-run Patanjali Ayurved earlier today has lunched Coronil and Swasari, an Ayurvedic medicine, claiming to treat novel coronavirus or COVID-19 infection

The Government has asked Patanjali to immediately stop advertising and publicising its Claims as the said Ayurvedic medicines lack factual and scientific studies

Ramdev claimed that his medicines will cure the disease 100% within seven days and its clinically tested on patients. 

As per the data available on Government of India Website total number of Active cases in India is 178014, where as it’s showing 248189 persons, cured or discharged with 14011 casualties. 

It is pertinent to mention here Ministry of Home Affairs In it’s Lockdown Order, National Disaster Management Authority has referred Section 54 of Disaster Management Act 2005, which proposes jail time for those causing ‘false alarms’. 

“whoever makes or circulate a false alarm or warning as to disaster or it’s severity or magnitude, leading to panic, shall on conviction, be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to one year or with fine,” as per Section 54 DMA. 

Sections 51 to 60 of the Act talk about offences and penalties, which would be applicable to lockdown order. Under the legislation, obstructing government servants from carrying out their duties or refusing to comply with any directions issued by Centre, State Govts or the NDMA attracts a one year jail term, along with fine. If actions lead to loss of lives, the sentence could be upto two years and a fine, according to section 51 of the Act. 

Under Section 52 of the Act, speaks about Punishment for false claim, “whoever knowingly makes a claim which he knows or has reason to believe to be false for obtaining any relief, assistance, repair, reconstruction or other benefits consequent to disaster from any officer of the Central Government, the State Government, the National Authority, the State Authority or the District Authority, shall, on conviction be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, and also with fine.”  

Under Section 54 of the Act which speaks about, Punishment for false warning, “Whoever makes or circulates a false alarm or warning as to disaster or its severity or magnitude, leading to panic, shall on conviction, be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to one year or with fine.”

Section 58 of the Act describes the, “Offence by companies”,(1) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company or body corporate, every person who at the time the offence was committed, was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company, for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the contravention and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly:

Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any punishment provided in this Act, if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company, and it is proved that the offence was committed with the consent or connivance of or is attributable to any neglect on the part of any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also, be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

Explanation.—For the purpose of this section—

(a) “company” means any body corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals; and

(b) “director”, in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm

The NDMA guidelines also describes that disobeying an order by a public servant to abstain from an act, or dealing with their property in a certain way, can result in the invocation of Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code as well. Punishment under this section is imprisonment up to one month, along with fine of Rs 200. But if the disobedience causes danger to human life, health or safety, the culprit could be punished with a six-month jail term, along with a fine of Rs 1,000.  

A criminal complaint can be filed under Section 270 Indian Penal Code, Malignant act likely to spread infection of disease danger­ous to life— Whoever malignantly does any act which is, and which he knows or has reason to believe to be, likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

Under Section 420 IPC, Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property— Whoever cheats and thereby dishonestly induces the person de­ceived to deliver any property to any person, or to make, alter or destroy the whole or any part of a valuable security, or anything which is signed or sealed, and which is capable of being converted into a valuable security, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine. Under Section 120B IPC, Punishment of criminal conspiracy.

Under Section 504 IPC, Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace— Whoever intentionally insults, and thereby gives provoca­tion to any person, intending or knowing it to be likely that such provocation will cause him to break the public peace, or to commit any other offence, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

-India Legal Bureau

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