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SC raps Ramdev for misleading Ads, Centre for choosing 'to keep its eyes shut'

SC raps Ramdev for misleading Ads, Centre for choosing to keep its eyes shut

In a scathing rebuke, the Supreme Court admonished Baba Ramdev, the founder of Patanjali, for what it termed as a "gross violation" of the undertaking given to the apex court regarding misleading advertisements by the company.

The ruling of the bench comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah in strong remarks came during a hearing where Ramdev and Patanjali Ayurved MD Acharya Balkrishna were present in connection with show-cause notices issued against them.

Legal website Barandbench quoted the words of an evidently displeased Justice Kohli "You said documents have been attached, but the documents were created later on. This is a clear case of perjury! We are not closing the doors on you but we are telling all that we have noted."

The Supreme Court had previously instructed Patanjali on November 21, 2023, to refrain from issuing any misleading advertisements or making casual statements regarding medicinal efficacy or against any system of medicine to the media.

However, on February 27, the court issued a notice to the company and Balkrishna for flouting the previous order by releasing an advertisement and conducting a press conference. Despite the notice, no reply had been filed, prompting the court to issue another notice to Ramdev on March 19.

Expressing its dismay, the court emphasized, "This is absolute defiance. Not just the Supreme Court, every order passed by courts across the country has to be respected. You have to abide by the undertaking given to the court; you have broken every barrier."

Furthermore, the Supreme Court criticized the Ministry of AYUSH for its inaction, questioning why it "chose to keep its eyes shut" while Patanjali propagated claims such as there being no remedy for COVID-19 in allopathy.

Ramdev, who was present in court, offered an unconditional apology, urging the court to take note of it. However, the court remained firm in its stance, indicating potential contempt proceedings if the violations persisted.

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