Patanjali ads: Ramdev, Balkrishna tender unconditional apology before SC

I sincerely regret this lapse and I wish to assure the court that the same will not be repeated, says the yoga guru

Yoga guru Ramdev (photo: PTI)
Yoga guru Ramdev (photo: PTI)


Yoga guru Ramdev and managing director of Patanjali Ayurved Ltd Acharya Balkrishna have tendered "unconditional and unqualified apology" before the Supreme Court over advertisements issued by the firm making tall claims about the medicinal efficacy of its products.

In two separate affidavits filed in the apex court, Ramdev and Balkrishna tendered unqualified apology for the "breach of the statement" recorded in the 21 November 2023 order of the apex court.

In the 21 November 2023 order, the top court had noted that counsel representing Patanjali Ayurved had assured it that "henceforth there shall not be any violation of any law(s), especially relating to advertising or branding of products manufactured and marketed by it and, further, that no casual statements claiming medicinal efficacy or against any system of medicine will be released to the media in any form".

The top court had said Patanjali Ayurved Ltd is "bound down to such assurance".

The non-observance of the specific assurance and the subsequent media statements irked the apex court, which later issued notice to them to show cause as to why contempt proceedings be not initiated against them.

In his affidavit filed in the top court, Ramdev has said, "I hereby tender my unconditional apology in regard to the issue of advertisements which occurred after the statement of counsel of respondent no. 5 (Patanjali) which was recorded in the order dated 21 November 2023, which I am informed has the force of an injunction."

"I sincerely regret this lapse and I wish to assure the court that the same will not be repeated," he said, adding, "I hereby tender an unconditional and unqualified apology for the breach of the statement recorded in para 3 of the order of this court dated 21 November 2023".

He said the statement shall be complied with in letter and spirit and no such similar advertisements shall be issued.

Ramdev also tendered unconditional apology for the press conference held on 22 November 2023 and undertook not to make any public statements which may amount to breach of the undertaking given before the court.

"I regret this lapse and assure that the same will not be repeated again in future," he said, adding, "I seek pardon for the aforesaid breach of the statement. I undertake to always uphold the majesty of law and majesty of justice".

Similarly, Balkrishna also tendered an unconditional apology for the breach of the statement recorded in the apex court's 21 November 2023 order.

"I sincerely regret the issue of advertisements from respondent no. 5 (Patanjali) which is an infraction of the order dated 21 November 2023. I tender my unconditional and unqualified apology in this regard, on my own behalf and that of respondent no 5," he said.

"I never had any intention to violate orders of this court. I state that no such lapse will occur in future. I will always uphold the majesty of law," Balkrishna said in his affidavit.

A bench of justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah is scheduled to hear the matter on Wednesday, 10 April.

On 2 April, the top court had come down hard on Ramdev and Balkrishna and rejected their apology as "lip service".

It had also questioned the Centre's alleged inaction over Patanjali's tall claims about the efficacy of its products and denigrating allopathy during the Covid peak and asked why the government chose to keep its "eyes shut".

It had strongly disapproved of Balkrishna's statement that the Drugs and Cosmetics (Magic Remedies) Act was "archaic" and said Patanjali Ayurved's advertisements were in the "teeth of the Act" and violated with impunity the undertaking given to the court.

The apex court is hearing a plea filed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) alleging a smear campaign against the vaccination drive and modern medicines.

On 19 March, the 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 top court had said it deemed it appropriate to issue Ramdev a show cause notice as advertisements issued by Patanjali, which were in the teeth of the undertaking given to the court on November 21, 2023, reflect an endorsement by him.

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