Published On : Tue, Apr 2nd, 2024

“Be ready to face action”: Supreme Court tells Baba Ramdev in misleading ads case

Baba Ramdev appeared in the apex court and issued an unconditional apology for not complying with its order in the misleading advertisements case

New Delhi: Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev on Tuesday issued an unconditional apology to the Supreme Court for not complying with its order in the misleading advertisements case.

Baba Ramdev and Patanjali Ayurved’s Managing Director Acharya Balkrishna appeared before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, days after it issued show cause notices to them, asking why contempt proceedings shouldn’t be initiated.

“Requesting the court to note my presence and unconditional apology,” Ramdev’s counsel said.

The Supreme Court later allowed one more opportunity to Baba Ramdev to file his response to the alleged contempt proceedings. It also termed his unconditional apology in person to be “lip service”. The Court will now hear the matter on April 10.

The Supreme Court came down heavily on Baba Ramdev and Balakrishna for their “absolute defiance” in not filing proper affidavits over the company’s misleading advertisements.

“Not just the Supreme Court, every order passed by the courts across this country has to be respected. This is absolute defiance,” the top court said. The top court observed that advertisements issued by Patanjali are in the “teeth of law” of the land. “Be ready for action,” the Supreme Court told Ramdev.

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah also refused to accept an apology tendered by Patanjali last month after the top court rap during the earlier hearing. “We are not happy with your apology,” Justice Kohli said.

“You should have made sure that the solemn undertaking should have been in letter and spirit. We can also say that we are sorry for not accepting it. Your apology is not persuading this court. It is more of a lip service,” the Supreme Court said.

After which, Ramdev’s lawyer said both Ramdev and Balakrishna are ready to personally apologise in the court. “We want to apologise and are ready for whatever the court says,” Senior advocate Balbir Singh told the court with folded hands. The bench granted last opportunity to Ramdev and Balkrishna to file their affidavits in the matter in one week.

The Supreme Court also pulled up the Centre for not taking action and said they were sitting with their eyes shut. “We are wondering why the government chose to keep their eyes shut ,” the bench had said.

The Supreme Court has asked Ramdev and Balkrishna to be present in the court on April 10 — the next date of hearing in the case.

The Supreme Court last month had severely criticised Patanjali for failing to obey its directives and directed Ramdev and Balkrishna to be personally present before the court on April 2. On February 27, the top court had directed the company to stop all electronic and print advertisements of its medicines giving misleading information with immediate effect.

The case began in November last year when the Supreme Court, while hearing a petition filed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), cautioned Patanjali Ayurved against making “false” and “misleading” claims in advertisements about its medicines.

IMA had referred to several advertisements which allegedly projected the allopathy and the doctors in poor light, saying that “disparaging” statements have also been made by firms, engaged in the production of Ayurvedic medicines, to mislead the general public. These commercials say that the medical practitioners themselves are dying despite taking modern medicines, the counsel for the IMA had said.