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“You are not innocent”: SC tells Ramdev, he says will remain conscious in future

First Published: 16th April, 2024 14:30 IST

Co-founder of Patanjali Ayurved Ltd., Ramdev, tendered unconditional apology "for the mistakes", adding that "What we did at the time was not correct. We will be conscious about it in

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev apologised to the Supreme Court on Tuesday for publishing misleading advertisements and making comments against allopathic medicines and assured that he will “remain conscious about it in future”.

Co-founder of Patanjali Ayurved Ltd., Ramdev, tendered unconditional apology “for the mistakes”, adding that “What we did at the time was not correct. We will be conscious about it in the future.”

Acharya Balkrishna, Patanjali’s Managing Director, also apologised to the apex court and said that their conduct was not deliberate.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Patanjali, told the top court that they are “ready to give a public apology to show contrition.”

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah personally interacted with Ramdev and Balkrishna who were personally present in the courtroom.

While recording an undertaking by Patanjali and its representatives that they propose to voluntarily take some steps to redeem themselves and show their good intentions, the bench adjourned the matter till April 23.

The apex court said that the duo are not off the hook yet and will think about accepting their apologies.

“This is irresponsible behaviour. The previous history of yours is damaging. We will think over it, whether to accept your apology or not,” Justice Kohli said.

The bench told Ramdev that he was “not so innocent” and criticised him for his “irresponsible behaviour”.

The apex court said, “We are not saying we will forgive you. We cannot be blind to your earlier history; we will think about your apology. You are not so innocent that you were completely unaware of what was going on in Court. At this moment, we are not saying they are off the hook.”

It was hearing the contempt case against Patanjali Ayurved, Ramdev and Balkrishna in connection with the misleading advertisements of their products.

A petition filed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) against an alleged smear campaign carried out by Patanjali and its founders against the Covid-19 vaccination drive and modern medicine.

Earlier, on two occasions they tendered unconditional and unqualified apology with regard to issue of advertisement. However, the bench had refused to accept their affidavits tendering apologies and slammed them for the misleading advertisements carry out by them and the company.

During today’s hearing, the bench said it wanted to interact with Ramdev and Balkrishna and asked them what they wanted say.

“What we did at that point of time, it should not have been done. We apologies for that. This all happened in the excitement of work. It wouldn’t happen in future,” Ramdev told the bench with folded hands.

Balkrishna told the bench that they should not have done it.

Justice Kohli said they cannot claim a cure for specific diseases in its advertisements and it is illegal to advertise medicines as specific cures for diseases.

“Advertising medicines for the treatment of specific diseases is not permitted. Neither a doctor, not a pharmacy can do that. It is irresponsible to do that,” the bench told Ramdev.

Justice Amanullah said every citizen is bound by the law and they cannot degrade allopathy while promoting its products.

“Your apology is not coming from your heart,” Justice Amanullah said.

The bench asked them to appear before it on April 23 also.

Earlier, the apex court also slammed the Uttarakhand government for being “hand-in-glove” with errant licensing officers who failed to take action against Patanjali for publishing misleading advertisements.

The top court had earlier also directed Patanjali not to publish false advertisements in the future and later issued contempt of court notices to the company, Ramdev and Balkrishna. (ANI)

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