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“You are not innocent”: SC tells Ramdev as he tenders unconditional apology in misleading ads case

April 16, 2024 4:02 PM IST

Misleading advertisements | SC | Baba Ramdev | Patanjali Ayurved

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev apologised to the Supreme Court on Tuesday for publishing misleading advertisements that claimed his traditional ayurvedic medicines could cure chronic diseases, while also disparaging allopathic medicines.

“What we did at the time was not correct. We will be mindful of these things in the future,” Ramdev, who is the co-founder of Patanjali Ayurved, told the court.

Acharya Balkrishna, Patanjali’s managing director, also apologised to the apex court and said that their conduct was not deliberate.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Patanjali, told the bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah that they are “ready to give a public apology to show contrition.”

The case against Ramdev relates to the Indian Medical Association’s allegations that Patanjali disparages conventional medicines and continued publishing the misleading ads.

The Supreme Court has previously refused to accept two formal apologies from Ramdev and his firm’s co-founder Acharya Balkrishna, made through their lawyers, in the contempt case and also admonished the Uttarakhand government for being “hand-in-glove” with errant licensing officers who failed to take action against Patanjali for publishing misleading advertisements.

During Tuesday’s hearing, the bench said it wanted to interact with Ramdev and Balkrishna.

“This is irresponsible behaviour. The previous history of yours is damaging. We will think over it, whether to accept your apology or not,” Justice Kohli said.

“What we did at that point of time, it should not have been done,” Ramdev told the judges with folded hands.

The apex court said: “We are not saying we will forgive you. We cannot be blind to your earlier history; we will think about your apology. You are not so innocent that you were completely unaware of what was going on in Court. At this moment, we are not saying they are off the hook.”

The court set April 23 as the next hearing date.

(With input from agencies)

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Last updated on: 16th June 2024