Supreme Court rejects Patanjali's second affidavit of apology; warns of action in the contempt case

Patanjali MD Acharya Balkrishna and Baba Ramdev were directed to be personally present before the Court at the April 10 hearing.

By  Storyboard18Apr 10, 2024 12:27 PM
Supreme Court rejects Patanjali's second affidavit of apology;  warns of action in the contempt case
After the hearing, Patanjali Ayurved formally expressed regret to the Supreme Court in response to a notice prompting it to justify why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated for allegedly breaching an assurance provided to the top court on November 21, 2023. (Image source: Moneycontrol)

On April 10, the Supreme Court heard the contempt case against Patanjali Ayurved over misleading medical ads. Patanjali MD Acharya Balkrishna and Baba Ramdev were directed to be personally present before the Court. A bench comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah heard the matter.

The Supreme Court 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... Now a message must go to society."

"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.

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.

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah also refused to accept the apology tendered by Patanjali last month. "We are not happy with your apology," the top court said, giving the company one last opportunity to file a 'better' response in its contempt proceedings.

During the previous hearing, the SC severely criticised Ramdev and Balkrishna for not heeding its directives and asked them to be physically present before the court on April 2.

After the hearing, Patanjali Ayurved formally expressed regret to the Supreme Court in response to a notice prompting it to justify why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated for allegedly breaching an assurance provided to the top court on November 21, 2023.

In the affidavit that was filed in response to the notice, Balkrishna regretted that the advertisement in question which was meant to contain only general statements inadvertently included 'offending sentences’. They assured that such ads would not be issued in the future.

The case relates to Patanjali Ayurved's ads. In its ads for medicinal products, Patanjali Ayurved had claimed to cure diseases or ailments. The SC ordered Patanjali to stop such claims and "misleading" ads and had further ordered Patanjali to stop making any statements against allopathy in its ads. The bench had also asked the government to take immediate action against Patanjali Ayurved in the matter.

First Published on Apr 10, 2024 12:21 PM

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