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SC rejects Ramdev, Patanjali’s apology, slams Uttarakhand for not stopping ads

“You should suffer the consequences for violating the court’s order. We do not want to be generous in this case,” it said.

Ramdev 1New Delhi: More trouble is in store for yoga guru Baba Ramdev and his associate Acharya Balkrishna for allegedly violating the Supreme Court’s order by publishing misleading medical advertisements. An angry Supreme Court on Wednesday slammed them and said it cannot let them off by accepting their apology, adding that a message has to go to society at large not to violate court orders.

The top court on Wednesday rejected the second affidavit of the apology filed by Patanjali Ayurved and its Managing Director Acharya Balkrishna and Ramdev in the contempt case over the publication of misleading medical advertisements allegedly violating the undertaking given to the court.

A two-judge bench of the top court, led by Justice Hima Kohli and also comprising Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah, said tendering an apology is not enough. “You should suffer the consequences for violating the court’s order. We do not want to be generous in this case,” it said.

The SC also slammed the Uttarakhand govt for not taking action against Patanjali Ayurved over violations of law. “You kept twiddling your thumbs when the law was being violated with impunity. The concerned officers must be taken to task,” said the SC.

Pointing out how both of them allegedly tried to evade personal appearance before the court by making false claims of travel abroad, the court said that after they were issued notice, they filed an application for not appearing in person. To corroborate their claim, they annexed their flight tickets in the application as March 31, not as March 30.

Patanjali MD Balkrishna and Ramdev filed a fresh affidavit in the SC on Tuesday expressing their “unconditional and unqualified apology” for publishing misleading medical advertisement violating the undertaking given to the court.

In the affidavit filed in the top court, Ramdev and Balkrishna said they would comply with the SC’s order in letter and spirit, and also uphold the majesty of law and the majesty of justice.

Patanjali Ayurved had assured the Supreme Court that it would not violate any law, especially those related to advertising or branding of products manufactured and marketed by it.

The company had also given an assurance that “no casual statements claiming medicinal efficacy or against any system of medicine will be released to the media in any form”.

Both of them also undertook not to make any public statements which may amount to a breach of the undertaking given to the SC.

The court was hearing the petition filed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), alleging that Patanjali Ayurveda’s advertisements, which claimed to cure certain diseases including blood pressure, diabetes and asthma, amounted to misinformation. “It is completely wrong to advertise on such kind of diseases and to cure such diseases,” the IMA said.

In a hearing on February 27, the top court had imposed a temporary ban on advertisements of Patanjali Ayurveda’s medicines and issued contempt notices to its founders Ramdev and Balkrishna for making misleading claims.

Citing the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act 1954, the Supreme Court had restrained the company from issuing advertisements relating to various diseases including blood pressure, diabetes and asthma.

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