Misleading ads case: Supreme Court slams Patanjali for apology affidavit

The Supreme Court today came down heavily on yoga guru Ramdev and managing director of Patanjali Ayurved Acharya Balkrishna for their absolute defiance in not filing proper affidavits of compliance in the misleading advertisement case and breaking every barrier.

The court also disapproved of the Patanjali MD’s statement that the Drugs and Cosmetics (Magic Remedies) Act is archaic. A bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Ahsanuddin observed that not just the apex court, every order passed by the courts across the country has to be respected. The bench added that the affidavit is an absolute defiance.

The court took a dim view of a statement made by Patanjali that its media wing was not aware of the court having ordered the company to halt the broadcast of such advertisements. The bench told Ramdev that he has to abide by the undertaking given to court and that he has broken every barrier. Furthermore, the top court wondered as to why the Centre chose to keep its eyes shut when Patanjali was going to town saying there was no remedy for Covid in allopathy.

Appearing for Ramdev, Senior advocate Balbir Singh urged the court to take note of the presence of the yoga guru and his unconditional apology. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta  told the court that what had happened should not have happened, and offered to help the counsel for parties to find a solution to the whole issue.

Justice Kohli said to Patanjali MD’s counsel that he should have made sure an affidavit is filed in pursuance of his solemn undertakings. When the counsel for Patanjali and others sought more time for filing the affidavits of compliance, the bench remarked that things should reach a logical conclusion. Subsequently, the bench granted last opportunity to Ramdev and Balkrishna to file their affidavits in the matter in one week. While posting the matter for further hearing on April 10, the bench ordered that both of the respondents shall remain present before it on the next date. 

Earlier on March 19, the apex court had directed Ramdev and Balkrishna to appear before it after taking exception to the company’s failure to respond to the notice issued in the case relating to advertisements of the firm’s products and their medicinal efficacy. The bench observed that advertisements issued by Patanjali are in the teeth of law of the land.

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