“Patanjali Misleading Ads: ‘Won’t Accept Apology’, SC Tells Ramdev, with a ‘Rip You Apart’ Warning to Uttarakhand”

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Yoga guru Ramdev, the co-founder of Patanjali Ayurved, was back in the Supreme Court on Wednesday in connection with the “misleading” ads case, days after tendering an apology before the court in the matter. Supreme Court on Wednesday observed that the apology is only on paper after they — Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna — “were caught on wrong foot in court.”

Rejecting the second affidavit of apology submitted by Patanjali, the Supreme Court warned Patanjali MD Acharya Balkrishna and co-founder Ramdev to be ready to face action in the contempt case.

“We don’t accept it [apology], we decline to accept this. We consider it a wilful, deliberate disobedience of the undertaking,” the Supreme Court said, adding that “the message has to go to society at large not to violate the court’s order.”

“Patanjali says their advertisements were to keep people connected with Ayurvedic medicines, as if they are the first ones in the world to come up with Ayurvedic medicines,” the top court said on Wednesday.

The Supreme Court came down heavily on Ramdev and MD of Patanjali Ayurved Acharya Balkrishna on April 2 for their “absolute defiance” in not filing proper affidavits of compliance in the misleading advertisement case and breaking “every barrier”.

“Not just the Supreme Court, every order passed by the courts across this country has to be respected … this is absolute defiance,” a bench comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah had said.

The top court also disapproved of Patanjali MD’s statement in affidavit that Drugs and Cosmetics (Magic Remedies) Act is archaic.

The Supreme Court granted a “last opportunity” to Ramdev and Patanjali MD Acharya Balkrishna to file affidavits in one week, asking both to be present in court on the next date of hearing on April 10.

The Supreme Court on April 2 also rapped Centre for keeping its “eyes shut” when Patanjali “was going to town saying there were no remedy for Covid in allopathy.”

Yoga guru Ramdev and managing director of Patanjali Ayurved Ltd Acharya Balkrishna on Saturday tendered “unconditional and unqualified apology” before the Supreme Court over advertisements issued by the firm making tall claims about the medicinal efficacy of its products.

In two separate affidavits filed in the apex court, Ramdev and Balkrishna tendered unqualified apology for the “breach of the statement” recorded in the November 21 last year order of the apex court.

ALSO READ | ‘Country Taken For A Ride’: SC Issues Notice To Patanjali Over ‘Misleading Ads’

In the November 21, 2023 order, the top court had noted that counsel representing Patanjali Ayurved had assured it that “henceforth there shall not be any violation of any law(s), especially relating to advertising or branding of products manufactured and marketed by it and, further, that no casual statements claiming medicinal efficacy or against any system of medicine will be released to the media in any form”.

The top court had said Patanjali Ayurved Ltd is “bound down to such assurance”.

In his affidavit filed in the top court, Ramdev, “I hereby tender my unconditional apology in regard to the issue of advertisements which occurred after the statement of counsel of respondent no. 5 (Patanjali) which was recorded in the order dated November 21, 2023, which I am informed has the force of an injunction.”

“I sincerely regret this lapse and I wish to assure the court that the same will not be repeated,” he said, adding, “I hereby tender an unconditional and unqualified apology for the breach of the statement recorded in para 3 of the order of this court dated November 21, 2023”.

Ramdev also tendered unconditional apology for the press conference held on November 22 last year and undertook not to make any public statements which may amount to breach of the undertaking given before the court.

“I regret this lapse and assure that the same will not be repeated again in future,” he said, adding, “I seek pardon for the aforesaid breach of the statement. I undertake to always uphold the majesty of law and majesty of justice”.

Acharya Balkrishna also tendered an unconditional apology for the breach of the statement recorded in the apex court’s November 21 last year order.

“I sincerely regret the issue of advertisements from respondent no. 5 (Patanjali) which is an infraction of the order dated November 21, 2023. I tender my unconditional and unqualified apology in this regard, on my own behalf and that of respondent no 5,” Acharya Balkrishna said.

‘Will Rip You Apart’: SC Raps Uttarakhand
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court rapped the Uttarakhand government as well for not taking action against Patanjali for its misleading medical advertisements. “We will rip you apart,” the Supreme Court told the state government.

Your officers have done nothing, Justices Hima Kohli said, to which Justice Amanullah added: ” We have strong objection to use of word ‘bonafide’ for officers. We are not going to take lightly. We will rip you apart.”

“Why should we not think you are in cahoots with alleged contemnors? You are keeping your eyes shut deliberately,” LiveLaw quoted Justice Kohli telling the Uttarakhand government.

In response, Dr Mithilesh Kumar, the Joint Director of the Uttarakhand’s Food and Drug Administration, begged for mercy with folded hands.

“Please spare me…” Dr Kumar said to the court, adding that he came in June 2023 and this happened before him.

The court said in response:

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