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Supreme Court questions Ramdev's team; 'Is your apology as same size as ads?'

Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna are scheduled to appear in the Supreme Court today.

Written by  Annesha Barua -- April 23rd 2024 11:30 AM -- Updated: April 23rd 2024 11:47 AM
Supreme Court questions Ramdev's team; 'Is your apology as same size as ads?'

Supreme Court questions Ramdev's team; 'Is your apology as same size as ads?'

PTC News Desk: Ahead of Ramdev and his aide Balkrishna's appearance in the Supreme Court today for the misleading ads case, Patanjali Ayurved issued an apology in a national daily, expressing utmost respect for the court and pledging not to repeat their mistakes.

The apology follows the Supreme Court's scrutiny of Patanjali founders' misleading claims regarding the effectiveness of their products in treating diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. Previous apologies from Ramdev and Balkrishna were deemed insincere by the court, prompting a demand for a demonstration of genuine remorse.

In an advertisement published in a national Hindi daily, Patanjali acknowledged its errors and committed to avoiding future transgressions. The ad emphasised their respect for the Supreme Court and expressed regret for publishing misleading ads and organising press conferences despite assurances from their legal counsel.

Ramdev's response to media inquiries after the previous hearing indicated his confidence in the judicial process, stating, "I have said what I had to. I have full faith in the judiciary."

However, the court remained critical of earlier apologies, noting that they were initially sent to the media rather than directly to the court, suggesting a focus on publicity rather than genuine contrition.

The dispute traces back to the launch of Patanjali's drug, Coronil, during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. Ramdev claimed it to be the "first evidence-based medicine for COVID-19" and asserted that it had WHO certification. However, these claims were challenged by medical bodies, including the Indian Medical Association (IMA), which labeled them as false.

Tensions escalated further when a video surfaced of Ramdev criticising allopathy as a "stupid and bankrupt science." The IMA demanded an apology, to which Patanjali responded by stating that Ramdev's remarks were taken out of context.

The legal battle intensified when Patanjali published advertisements making unsubstantiated claims about curing various diseases. The IMA petitioned against Patanjali, accusing them of spreading misinformation.

Despite assurances from Patanjali's counsel to comply with advertising laws, the court received reports of continued misleading advertisements. This prompted the court to demand explanations from Patanjali, leading to the current contempt proceedings.

The court's firm stance underscores the importance of accountability in advertising practices and the consequences of disregarding legal obligations. Patanjali's response in court today will be closely watched as the case unfolds further.

- With inputs from agencies

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