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Ramdev, Balkrishna file 'unconditional' apology in Patanjali ad case

The court had also slammed the Central government and asked why it chose to keep its eyes shut when Patanjali claimed that allopathy medicine offered no protection against Covid-19

Ramdev

New Delhi: Yoga guru Ramdev after appearing before the Supreme Court in connection with the Patanjali misleading advertisements case, in New Delhi (Photo: PTI)

Bhavini Mishra New Delhi

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Baba Ramdev and Patanjali Ayurved MD Acharya Balkrishna on Tuesday submitted a fresh affidavit in the Supreme Court, seeking an “unconditional and unqualified apology” in connection with the misleading advertisements claiming cure for diseases and defaming allopathy.

The apex court is slated to deliver its final verdict on Wednesday. Both have been told to appear before the court.

In the earlier hearing, which took place on April 2, the court had refused to accept the apology tendered by Ramdev and Balkrishna, saying it was nothing but “lip service”. But it had given them a last chance.

During the previous hearing, while Balkrishna had placed his apology before the court, Ramdev’s affidavit was not on record. On this, the court had said it was clear that the matter had to be taken to its “logical conclusion”.

The bench of justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah was furious and had asked the respondents as to why contempt proceedings shouldn’t be initiated against them for “flouting its directions”.

Flouting the SC order

Ramdev and Balkrishna had on November 21, 2023 assured the court that they would not make any “casual statements claiming medicinal efficacy or against any system of medicine”.

But, just a day later, on November 22, Ramdev held a press conference saying remedies for blood pressure were “lies spread by allopathy’’. And on December 4, the unlisted firm in which Balkrishna holds about 94 per cent stake, issued a similar advertisement.
 
It irked the apex court.

The affidavit 
 
On Tuesday, Balkrishna and Ramdev filed the affidavit which stated, “I hereby tender my unconditional apology in regard to the issue of advertisements... I sincerely regret this lapse and I wish to assure the Hon’ble court that the same will not be repeated. I hereby tender an unconditional and unqualified apology for the breach of the statement recorded in para 3 of the order of this Hon’ble court dated 21.11.2023.”

“l further undertake and ensure that the said statement shall be complied with in letter and spirit and no such similar advertisements shall be used... I seek pardon for the aforesaid breach of the statement. I undertake to always uphold the majesty of law and majesty of justice,” the affidavit states.
 
Balkrishna and Ramdev also apologised for the issue of advertisements that the court had said were misleading.

Apology for the November 22 press conference was also tendered.

The Centre’s role

The court had also slammed the Central government and asked why it “chose to keep its eyes shut” when Patanjali claimed that allopathy medicine offered no protection against Covid-19.

“You yourself said that the product they come out with cannot be backed. What did you do to publicise the same with the common public,” the court asked the solicitor general Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the Centre.

The original petition by IMA

The court is hearing a petition filed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) against Patanjali’s advertisements attacking allopathy and making claims about curing certain diseases.

The court had on February 27 issued a contempt notice to Patanjali Ayurved and its MD Acharya Balakrishna for flouting earlier orders and continuing to propagate misleading claims about curing diseases with the company’s products. 


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First Published: Apr 09 2024 | 8:28 PM IST

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