SC raps Uttarakhand state licensing authority in Patanjali misleading ads case

Patanjali MD Acharya Balkrishna and Baba Ramdev were present before the Supreme Court on April 10, where the bench heard the matter in the plea case filed by the Indian Medical Association against Patanjali Ayurved Ltd.

By  Storyboard18Apr 10, 2024 1:42 PM
SC raps Uttarakhand state licensing authority in Patanjali misleading ads case
At the April 10 hearing, the Supreme Court also rejected the second affidavit of apology submitted by Patanjali and the bench warned them to be ready to face action in the contempt case. Justice Kohli said, "Why should we not treat your apology with the same disdain as shown to the court undertaking? We are not convinced..." (Image source: Moneycontrol)

At the April 10 hearing in the misleading ads case against Baba Ramdev-led Patanjali, the Supreme Court pulled up Uttarakhand drug authorities, asking why no action was taken against the violations and despite clear mention of 'suggestive nature' of content in Patanjali Ayurved's advertising for its products.

In previous hearings, the SC had pulled up the Centre and state authorities for lack of action. "We are wondering why the government chose to keep their eyes shut," the SC had said. According to the centre's response, states hold the authority to address advertisements promoting magic remedies; Nonetheless, the Centre has promptly addressed the issue in compliance with the law.

Patanjali MD Acharya Balkrishna and yoga guru Baba Ramdev were present before the Court on April 10 where a bench comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah heard the matter in the case of the plea filed by the Indian Medical Association against Patanjali Ayurved Ltd.

The Supreme Court while dictating the order said Uttarakhand State Licensing Authority had filed a detailed affidavit trying to explain action taken regarding objectionable ads. Justice Kohli said, "We are appalled to note that except pushing the file, nothing has been done. In 4-5 years, the State Licensing Authority remained in deep slumber." She said, "Why should we not think you are in cahoots with alleged contemnors? You are keeping your eyes shut deliberately."

Apology not accepted

At the April 10 hearing, the Supreme Court also rejected the second affidavit of apology submitted by Patanjali and the bench warned them to be ready to face action in the contempt case. Justice Kohli said, "Why should we not treat your apology with the same disdain as shown to the court undertaking? We are not convinced..."

Patanjali MD Acharya Balkrishna and Baba Ramdev were directed to be personally present before the Court.

"Till the matter hit the Court, the contemnors did not find it fit to send us the (fresh apology) affidavits. They sent it to the media first... They believe in publicity clearly," Justice Kohli said, as per reports from the court proceedings.

The SC bench added, "We have also pointed out that even after show cause notices, the proposed contemnors attempted to wriggle out of physical appearance.This is most unacceptable."

Balkrishna and Baba Ramdev had filed a fresh affidavit in the Supreme Court, on April 9, extending an "unconditional and unqualified apology" in the misleading ads case.

On April 2, the Supreme Court had pulled up Patanjali's Ramdev and Acharya and came down heavily on them for defying its orders and observed that the medical advertisements issued by the Ramdev-led company are in the "teeth of law". 'Be ready for action', the Supreme Court told Ramdev, stating that the court would need to take contempt cases to the logical conclusion.

First Published on Apr 10, 2024 1:37 PM

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