Home News SC again refuses an apology in the Patanjali-Ramdev misleading ads case and warns the duo to prepare for action in the contempt case.

SC again refuses an apology in the Patanjali-Ramdev misleading ads case and warns the duo to prepare for action in the contempt case.

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‘Unconditional’ apology from Patanjali Ayurveda’s Baba Ramdev

The Supreme Court rejected the ‘unconditional’ apology from Patanjali Ayurveda’s Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna in a contempt case, cautioning them to anticipate consequences and rebuking their premature media release of apologies, arising from allegations of a smear campaign against the COVID-19 vaccination and modern medicines.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court declined to accept the ‘unconditional’ apology affidavit from Patanjali Ayurveda’s Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna, cautioning them to be prepared for potential action in the contempt case.

“Why shouldn’t we regard your apology with the same disregard as the court undertaking? We remain unconvinced. We are now rejecting this apology,” inquired the SC bench.

Now, a message needs to be conveyed to society. Examine the State’s response. We’re incorporating it into your behavior. What sorts of medications have you been promoting?” the bench inquired.

Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah presided over the case. The next hearing is scheduled for April 16.

The SC objected to the premature media release of the duo’s apologies before the Court had reviewed them. On Tuesday, Ramdev and Balkrishna offered an ‘unconditional and unqualified’ apology to the apex court for the ‘breach of the statement’ as per the SC’s November 2023 order.

“Until the issue became public, this Court hadn’t received the affidavit. They (the affidavits) were made public before being presented to this court,” stated Justice Kohli.

SC uttarakhand govt. On Patanjali

During recent hearings, the SC criticized the Centre and the Uttarakhand government for turning a blind eye to Haridwar-based Patanjali and its products and advertisements.

apology
Image: LiveLaw

Wednesday saw the SC once again admonishing the Uttarakhand government, asserting that they deliberately ignored the matter, and emphasizing that the authorities won’t be excused in the advertising case.

“The government received all complaints. The licensing inspector stayed silent, without submitting any report. The relevant officers should be suspended immediately,” the court declared.

“The referenced letter states that medicines are produced by the mentioned companies. It acknowledges that advertisements are suggestive, which contradicts the law. They flaunt this fact before you and assert that the advertisement is suggestive, and you agree,” remarked the SC.

“They claimed their goal is to engage people with Ayurveda. It’s as though they believe they were pioneers in Ayurvedic medicine,” noted the bench.

The SC also commented on the Uttarakhand State Licensing Authority’s affidavit regarding its actions taken concerning the objectionable advertisements.

“We are shocked to see that apart from moving files, no action has been taken. For four to five years, the State Licensing Authority has been inactive,” observed the SC.

Apology from Patanjali Ramdev to SC

“The Supreme Court had previously prohibited Patanjali from advertising or branding their products as treatments for diseases under drug regulations, and warned against making anti-medicine system statements in the media. Despite assuring compliance, the company failed to do so, leading to contempt proceedings against them. Both were required to apologize.

“I hereby offer my unconditional apology regarding the post-statement advertisements mentioned in the November 21, 2023 order, which, I am informed, constitutes an injunction,” stated Ramdev in his affidavit. “I deeply regret this oversight and assure the court it won’t recur,” he added, pledging no similar advertisements and apologizing for the November 2023 press conference, promising not to make any statements violating court undertakings.

Balkrishna also tendered a similar apology in his affidavit.”

You might also be interested in: The Supreme Court ask Baba Ramdev and Balakrishna to appear in the Patanjali ‘misleading ads’ case

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