Recently, the Supreme Court has directed advertisers to submit self-declarations before promoting their products in media. 

Key Highlights of the SC order: 

  • This means that advertisers will have to provide a statement about the authenticity and accuracy of the claims made in their advertisements.
  • This order stems from a case against misleading advertisements run by Patanjali Ayurved.
  • Self-Declarations for Advertisers: To protect consumers from misleading ads, the Supreme Court directed: 
  • TV Ads: Upload self-declarations (confirming no misrepresentation) on the I&B Ministry’s “Broadcast Seva” portal. A copy needs to be provided to the broadcaster.
  • Print Ads: A similar portal will be launched by the I&B Ministry within four weeks. Advertisers must file self-declarations before issuing print ads.
  • Social Media Influencers & Celebrities: The court emphasized their responsibility to avoid promoting deceptive advertising. They should have “adequate experience and information” about the products they endorse.
  • Complaint Mechanism: The Centre must establish a clear procedure for consumers to file complaints against misleading advertisements and misbranding. Consumers should be informed of the action taken on their complaints.
  • AYUSH Ministry Letter Withdrawn: The court clarified that the AYUSH Ministry’s letter (Aug 29, 2023) omitting rule 170 on objectionable advertisements cannot supersede existing regulations. 
  • Rule 170 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules (1945) remains in effect.
  • It deals with action to be taken against objectionable advertisements.
  • Data on Complaints: The Ministry of Health must provide data on complaints received by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) regarding misleading advertisements and misbranding of food and health products.

Significance of the Order:

  • Consumer Protection: This will strengthen consumer rights by ensuring greater transparency and accountability in advertising.
  • Responsible Advertising: It will promote ethical practices among advertisers and influencers.Effective Complaint Mechanism: It will aid in addressing misleading advertisements and misbranded products.

About the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules (1945):

  • These rules are a set of regulations established by the Government of India under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 1940. 
  • These rules play a crucial role in ensuring the safety, efficacy, and quality of drugs and cosmetics available in the Indian market.


  • The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) is responsible for enforcing the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules (1945). 
  • They conduct inspections, analyze samples, and take action against violations.

Main Objectives of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act (1940):

  • Classification of Drugs: Classifies drugs under various schedules based on their potential risks and requirements for prescription, sale, and storage. (Schedule H and X drugs are the most restricted, requiring a doctor’s prescription for purchase).
  • Standards and Quality Control: Specifies quality standards for drugs and cosmetics, ensuring they meet safety and efficacy benchmarks.
  • Manufacturing, Storage, and Distribution: Prescribes regulations for manufacturing, storage, and distribution practices to maintain product quality and prevent contamination.
  • Labeling and Packaging: Mandates specific labeling requirements for drugs and cosmetics, including information on ingredients, dosage, warnings, and expiry dates.
  • Advertising and Promotion: Regulates the advertising and promotion of drugs and cosmetics to prevent misleading claims and ensure responsible marketing practices. (Rule 170, specifically mentioned in the SC order, likely falls under this category.)
  • Import and Export: Governs the import and export of drugs and cosmetics to maintain quality control and prevent the entry of unsafe products.

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