After a year of evading arrest, “miracle-doctor” Munir Khan was on Tuesday arrested by the Versova police following complaints lodged against him by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding television advertisements that claimed his “Body Revival” medicine could cure cancer, tuberculosis and several other diseases.
The FDA’s contention was that the advertisements were in violation of the conditions the court had set for him while granting him bail in 2010, after his first arrest. These conditions forbade him from exaggerating the qualities of his medicines, the FDA argued.
The Versova police said that based on an FIR registered against him in March 2014, they had booked Khan. However, he has been absconding for the last one year. On Tuesday, they got a tip-off that he was coming to his Versova residence and arrested him from there.
Khan has been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Drug and Magic Remedies (objectionable advertisements) Act, 1954, and Maharashtra Medical Practitioners Act, 1961.
Khan was produced in the metropolitan magistrate’s court in Andheri and was remanded to police custody till April 4, the police said.
For the last two months, a news channel was reportedly airing advertisements for Munir Khan’s medicines, between midnight and 2 am. The FDA has also issued a notice to the news channel.
The FIR filed by the FDA states that the new advertisements for “Body Revival” that were being aired over the last two months show Khan as a renowned scientist and his product a “cure for all” miracle drug.
Senior Inspector Ravindra Pawar of Versova police station said the police were now looking for the team involved in the production and promotion of Khan’s medicine.
FDA officials said that last week, they analysed the syrup he was selling as a miracle cure, the label on which mentioned an ingredient called ‘Acorus Calamus’. “We realised that his syrup contained only honey with some ayurvedic ingredients added to it,” an FDA inspector said.
Sanjay Patil, joint commissioner of Drugs, FDA, told Newsline, “We have seized goods worth Rs 3,000 crore. After his account books were checked, we realised he was selling 40-odd bottles to patients, thus earning over Rs 7 lakh every day.”
Each 100 ml bottle of “Body Revival Suspension”, which claims to aid “regeneration of new cells” on its label, costs Rs 15,750. It promises to not only help in body revival but to also cure tuberculosis, heart diseases, multiple heart blockages and blood pressure.
A drug inspector, who first visited Khan’s clinic posing as a patient, said, “After I purchased a bottle, I sent it for analysis in our laboratory. Two days ago, we realised the syrup had spurious ingredients.”
FIRs against Khan were also earlier lodged in 2008, 2009 and 2014. Patil said, “He was given permission to manufacture and sell his medicine in Himachal Pradesh. His factory is in Solan.”
The FDA will now coordinate with officials and police in Himachal Pradesh in order to inspect the Solan manufacturing unit.
J B Mantri, drug inspector of Zone 5, said, “We realised that patients who are depressed and have no other treatment option are the usual targets. They buy the medicine hoping it might help cure their ailment.”
Naruttam Solanki (48), from Vile Parle, purchased the medicine in the hope of treating psoriasis. “It tasted like honey. I had tried several ayurvedic procedures but nothing helped. I came across his advertisement and thought to try it out. But I still have problems in walking. After a few days, I stopped taking the medicine,” he told Newsline.