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'Be ready for something...': Supreme Court rejects Patanjali's apology in misleading ads case
Photo Courtesy: wikipedia.com | Facebook/Swami Ramdev

'Be ready for something...': Supreme Court rejects Patanjali's apology in misleading ads case

| @indiablooms | 10 Apr 2024, 01:38 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ripped apart Patanjali and its founders- Acharya Balkrishna and yoga guru Ramdev- rejecting their "unconditional apology" in connection with the misleading advertisements by the company, media reports said.

When senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for Patanjali founders, told the court about the mistakes, the Supreme Court came out with a harsh rebuke.

"We are not blinded...We don't want to be generous in this case," the bench said as quoted by India Today.

"The apology is on paper. Their back is against the wall. We decline to accept this, we consider it a deliberate violation of undertaking. Be ready for something next to rejection of the affidavit," the court further said.

The court also lashed out at Patanjali co-founder and yoga guru Ramdev for exempting from court appearances citing travel plans.

The court noted Ramdev initially claimed he did not have the ticket and then filed a backdated ticket in the affidavit.

Calling the action "perjury", the court warned him, "You're taking the process very lightly."

Earlier in the day, the central government told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it will be a person's choice to opt for Ayush or allopathy,  in response to the misleading advertisement case.

The Centre said as quoted by NDTV, "It is the choice of a person or a healthcare seeker to avail services of Ayush system or Allopathic medicine. Government encourages to utilize the strengths of each healthcare system for betterment of overall health of its citizens in a holistic manner.

"Therefore, it is most respectfully submitted that denigration of a system of medicine by the practitioner(s) of other system(s) of medicines as they lack the complete understanding of other system of medicine and this should be discouraged in public interest and mutual respect."

Last month,  Acharya Balkrishna, the MD of Indian multinational conglomerate holding company Patanjali, had issued an apology after the Supreme Court rapped him and his aide Ramdev for not responding to its contempt notice over misleading advertisements.

In an affidavit filed in the court on Wednesday, Balkrishna offered an "unqualified apology" and said the company will ensure that "such advertisements are not issued in the future."

In its affidavit, Patanjali, as NDTV quoted, stated it now has "evidence-based scientific data with clinical research conducted in Ayurveda, which would demonstrate the advances made through scientific research in the context of diseases mentioned in the said schedule."

"In light of the same it is humbly submitted that the Deponent's only quest is for a better and healthier life for each and every citizen and to reduce the burden on the countries healthcare infrastructure by providing holistic, evidence based solutions for lifestyle related medical complications through the usage of age old traditional approach of Ayurveda and Yoga (sic)," the affidavit reads.

Controversies regarding Patanjali products over the years

Based in Haridwar, Patanjali, which was founded in 2006, manufactures several categories of products ranging from Ayurvedic medicine to cosmetics to personal care to food products.

Founded by Balkrishna and Ramdev, the company ran through innumerable controversies over the years.

Patanjali drug- named putrajeevak- was claimed to cure infertility. Doctors pointed out the misleading drug name which meant son's life.

Some Patanjali stores had also sold the drug claiming it would ensure the birth of a boy.

The Ministry of Defence canteen stores Department (CSD) had suspended Patanjali's Amla Juice after the laboratory report claimed it was unfit for consumption.

The AYUSH Ministry had asked certain states to take actions against Patanjali for its misleading advertisements of products which was claimed as a cure for diabetes, heart and liver diseases.

During the COVID-19 period, the company was embroiled in controversy after it claimed to come up with Coronil, a drug against the virus.

Within hours after it was introduced, the AYUSH Ministry had asked the company to stop selling and advertising the drug.

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