SC Refuses To Accept Unconditional Apology by Baba Ramdev, Patanjali and Acharya Balkrishna, Raps Uttarakhand Licensing Authority
Moneylife Digital Team 12 April 2024
The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday refused, for a second time, to accept the unconditional apology offered by Baba Ramdev, founder of Patanjali Ayurved Ltd and co-founder and the company managing director (MD), Acharya Balkrishna for advertising medical products violating an undertaking given by them in November last year. Calling the actions of the three as 'wilful disobedience of order', SC warned them to be ready to face consequences. SC also rapped the Uttarakhand government and the state licensing authority for 'doing nothing' and 'twiddling their thumbs' while Patanjali continued violating orders given by the apex court.
 
Coming down heavily on Baba Ramdev, Patanjali and Acharya Balkrishna for taking the contempt of court proceedings lightly, the bench of justice Hima Kohli and justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah says, "They did not find it fit to send us the fresh apology affidavits. They sent it to the media first. Till 7:30pm yesterday, it was not uploaded for us. They believe in publicity clearly."
 
"We decline to accept your affidavit. We consider what you have done to be a willful, deliberate, repeated violation of our orders," it added.
 
The bench also grilled the Uttarakhand government for its inaction against Patanjali. It asked the counsel representing Uttarakhand government, "How do you explain your conduct? We are not going to let (you) go free. Why should we not come down on you like a ton of bricks?"
 
Stating that the state government is 'hand in glove' with Patanjali, SC says, "Why should we not believe that you are in cahoots with Patanjali? That you have not kept your eyes closed deliberately and let them get away with everything? Your officers have done nothing! Action has to be taken against your officers."
 
"We will not let you get away with this. This is why the Supreme Court is becoming a mockery. We want to make it clear that we are not living in ivory towers," the bench says.
 
During the previous hearing on 2 April 2024, the Supreme Court termed the apology submitted by Baba Ramdev, Patanjali and Acharya Balkrishna as a 'mere lip service'. The apex court also says Patanjali prima facie has committed perjury since documents, which were created later, were stated to have been filed.
 
The bench also rebuked Patanjali Ayurved over the casual apology affidavit it submitted before the Court for its failure to stop carrying misleading advertisements to promote its ayurvedic products by disparaging modern medicine. 
 
Patanjali stated that its media wing was unaware of the apex court order asking the company to halt the broadcast of its advertisements. An irked justice Kolhi says, "If this is indefensible, then your apology will not work. This is a gross violation of the undertaking given to the top court. You have to ensure that your undertaking, which is solemn should have been adhered to. We can say that we do not wish to accept that the media department does not know about what is happening in this court and it is an island. This is more of a lip service! ... You violated the solemn undertaking with impunity. We are not willing to accept this and this is perfunctory! What is the reason to accept your apology?" 
 
"This is all humbug! You say 'if the court feels, etc.' ... We cannot look into your heart! This is not how contempt cases are dealt with. In some matters, some cases have to be taken to their logical end. There cannot be so much magnanimity!" justice Amanullah added. (Read: “Your Apology Is a Mere Lip Service”, SC Raps Patanjali, Acharya Balkrishna and Baba Ramdev)
 
In February, the bench of justice Kohli and justice Amanullah barred Patanjali Ayurved from advertising or branding its medicines for treating specified diseases, including diabetes, obesity, and asthma, under the Act. 
 
Hearing a petition filed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), SC also issued a contempt notice to Patanjali Ayurveda and Acharya Balkrishna, for not following the apex court order in November last year.
 
In an interim order, the bench says, "You (Patanjali Ayurveda) had the courage and guts to come up with this advertisement after the order of this Court. In this advertisement, you say permanent relief, what do you mean by permanent relief? Is it a cure? Patanjali has been taking the country for a ride by making misleading claims that its medicines would cure certain diseases despite no empirical evidence for the same."
 
"Respondent 5 (Patanjali Ayurved) is restrained from advertising or branding the products (specified as a disease under the Act and Rule) manufactured and marketed by it. The respondent is also cautioned from making any statements against any system of medicine in the media (both print and electronic) in any form as undertaken by him on the last date," the bench ordered. (Read: Patanjali Barred from Publishing Misleading Medicine Ads; SC Issues Contempt Notices to Patanjali Ayurved and Acharya Balakrishna)
 
Comments
trisha.sudhakar
1 month ago
Ramdev & Balkrishna may have been greedy for power, fame & money and may have adopted unethical practices, but their products are generally good and popular and they are doing good work for promoting Hindu culture and tradition.
villagepoverty
1 month ago
Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkishan fault is that they have popularized the Ayurvedic medicines and Yoga. In his every talk Baba says do not purchase Patanjali medicines. Patients can cure themselves by doing Yoga and by doing pranayam. Pranayam cures patients suffering from chronic and multiple diseases without spending even Re 1.
S.SuchindranathAiyer
1 month ago
The SC makes an Islamic (Khangrace) Freudian slip. Par for the course in Indian jurisprudence. Judges are above the accountability and the law intended for ordinary mortals on whom they take out their angst over their personal family and religious or political discords and other frustrations. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. This reminds me of the Islamic Magistrate of Kanchipuram ripping apart the Kanch Shankaracharya to the glee of Rahul Kanwal and his fellow convented secularist journalists on other TV channels.
pmbhate
1 month ago
There is a Marathi saying which goes: Dev tari tyala kon mari. One just has to insert another word for 'Dev' in this case.
ajeya
1 month ago
If IMA has not filed a case and spend money on top SC lawyers then Babaji would have escaped easily. This case should be a clear message to all such companies.
iaminprabhu
1 month ago
This BABA & BUSINESS ACHARYA must be heavily penalized for every product (Volume x MRP) sold by them by FALSE CLAIMS & ADVERTISEMENT, belittling modern Science of Allopathy!

An example must be set, even for AYUSH Ministry & Uttarakhand State Govt. turning blind eye to this gross violation & fooling common people consumers for Business gains!
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A bench of Justices Hrishikesh Roy...
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