Ramdev Apologises Before Supreme Court With Folded Hands In Misleading Advertisement Case - Vibes Of India

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Ramdev Apologises Before Supreme Court With Folded Hands In Misleading Advertisement Case

| Updated: April 16, 2024 18:29

Co-founder of Patanjali Ayurved Ltd Baba Ramdev and Managing Director Acharya Balkrishna appeared in person and tendered an “unqualified and unconditional apology” before the Supreme Court for promoting misleading advertisements.
The court was hearing a contempt of court case against the company and the duo in a matter about deceptive advertisements and making statements against allopathic medicine. Ramdev and Balkrishna told the court that Patanjali was also ready to apologise publicly to express remorse.
Clarifying that it has not condoned Ramdev and Balkrishna’s conduct, the Supreme Court bench, comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah, said it would consider the unconditional apology tendered.
Patanjali had earlier assured the Supreme Court that it would not make casual statements claiming the medicinal efficacy of its products or advertise or brand them in violation of laws. The company also said it would not release any statement against any system of medicine to the media in any form.
But Ramdev and Balkrishna continued the publication of misleading advertisements and held a press conference immediately after Patanjali’s lawyer furnished this undertaking before the apex court in November last year.
Citing contempt, the bench criticised Patanjali’s shootdown of other treatments and medicines. “Will you say that other forms of medicine are not ‘up to the mark’ and ‘should be discarded’? Why would you say that?” asked the bench. In response, Ramdev submitted that he had no intention to breach the undertaking furnished before the Supreme Court. He said that Patanjali was only promoting Ayurveda as an evidence-based medicine system and not trying to dismiss any other branch of medicine. “We tender an unconditional and unqualified apology for whatever mistake we made,” reads Ramdev’s submission.
Ramdev, dressed in a saffron-coloured robe, pleaded before two Supreme Court judges with folded hands and said he felt provoked to react after his firm Patanjali Ayurved’s hugely popular medicines were called “pseudo-science” by critics, but added he was not justifying his action.
Ramdev further said he should have not made such public statements and assured that he would be more careful in the future. “We did this out of excitement, we won’t do it again,” he added. Expressing regret, Acharya Balkrishna also submitted that the statements defaming other medicines were not intentional and that care will be taken to not repeat this.
The Supreme Court has previously refused to accept two formal apologies from Ramdev and his firm’s co-founder Acharya Balkrishna, made through their lawyers, in the contempt case and also admonished the head of a state drugs regulator for not taking legal action against the firm.
“I want to say we made a mistake,” Ramdev told the judges in the packed courtroom. “What we said at the time should not have been said.”
Ramdev has previously rejected criticism about traditional medicines and accused some doctors of spreading propaganda against their use. He has also shared the stage with ministers in Narendra Modi’s government and leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the past.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for the contemnors, said Patanjali would take voluntary steps to demonstrate its bonafide intentions and requested that the matter be listed after one week. The bench adjourned the hearing till April 23 to allow them an opportunity to redeem their acts. Ramdev and Balkrishna were instructed to appear in person for the next hearing as well.
During an earlier hearing, the Supreme Court had criticised the Union government for remaining silent while Patanjali Ayurved brazenly promoted misleading advertisements about their products claiming that they can “cure Coronavirus fever”. The Indian Medical Association subsequently filed a petition against Ramdev for his smear campaign against doctors, modern medicine, and the COVID-19 vaccination drive in 2021 after Ramdev claimed that modern medicine is a “scam.”
The court had come down heavily on the Patanjali founders during the previous hearing last week. It had also pulled up the Uttarakhand government for not acting against the Haridwar-based company.

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