‘Deliberate violation’: Supreme Court rejects Patanjali Ayurved co-founders Baba Ramdev, Acharya Balkrishna's apologies : The Tribune India

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‘Deliberate violation’: Supreme Court rejects Patanjali Ayurved co-founders Baba Ramdev, Acharya Balkrishna's apologies

‘Deliberate violation’: Supreme Court rejects Patanjali Ayurved co-founders Baba Ramdev, Acharya Balkrishna's apologies

Ramdev arrives at the SC complex in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, April 10

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to accept “unconditional” apologies tendered by Patanjali Ayurved co-founders Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna over “misleading” advertisements, saying they deliberately violated its orders and apologised only after being “caught on the wrong foot”.

Will rip you apart, U’khand staff told

  • SC pulled up Uttarakhand State Licensing Authority for inaction on misleading ads by Patanjali. It asked its two officials to file affidavits on their conduct. “We will rip you apart,” the Bench told officials, warning them not to take the matter lightly

“We do not accept these affidavits. We decline to accept or condone it. We consider it a wilful and deliberate violation and breach of the (November 21, 2023) order passed in the undertaking… (We) don’t think your writing, unconditional multiple times in the affidavit is enough to satisfy this court,” a Bench led by Justice Hima Kohli told senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, who represented Ramdev and Balkrishna.

Not enough to satisfy court

We consider it a wilful and deliberate violation of (Nov 21, 2023) order… Your writing unconditional multiple times in affidavit is not enough to satisfy this court. —SC Bench

“The apologies that are on record are on paper...having been caught on the wrong foot and noticing that their back is actually against the wall… and having gone to town saying all sorts of things on the very next day of the order passed where your own counsel had given undertakings,” the Bench said.

“An apology tendered under duress of adverse orders is to be rejected outright”, Justice Amanullah, who was part of the Bench, said.

The top court also pulled up the Uttarakhand State Licensing Authority for its inaction on misleading advertisements by Patanjali Ayurved and Divya Pharmacy and asked two of their officials to file affidavits explaining their conduct. “We will rip you apart,” the Bench told the officials, warning them that it would not take the matter lightly.

“We are appalled to note that except for pushing the files, the licensing authority did nothing and was in deep slumber over the issue for four-five years,” the Bench said, directing the authority’s officer present in the court to explain the inaction.

The Bench was particularly upset about the fact that Ramdev’s affidavit was sworn a day before the date of issue of an air ticket, a copy of which was submitted along with the application. Despite repeated attempts by Rohatgi to explain the lapse, the Bench was not convinced.

“Having regard to the entire history of the matter and the past conduct of the proposed contemnors, we have expressed our reservations about accepting the latest affidavit filed by them,” the Bench said, directing them to appear before it again on April 16. While hearing Indian Medical Association’s petition seeking to control the alleged smear campaign and negative advertisements against the Covid vaccination drive and modern medicines, the Bench had earlier noted that prima facie the company had violated the November 21, 2023 undertaking given to the top court.

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