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Baba Ramdev, Balkrishna may appear before Supreme Court today

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev and Patanjali Ayurved’s managing director Acharya Balkrishna are likely to appear in front of a Supreme Court bench today, in the misleading advertisement case filed against the company.

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev (File)

The Supreme Court summoned Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna on Tuesday, seeking a response from them as to why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against Patanjali. The court also sought a response from the company for violating its orders prohibiting advertisements claiming to cure diseases and discrediting modern medicine.

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In February, a bench comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah sought a response from Baba Ramdev and his associate over why the court’s previous order was violated. The apex court noted that the advertisements issued by Patanjali, featuring Ramdev’s face, were in direct violation of the company’s past undertakings.

The court order, quoted by Hindustan Times, says, “Having gone through the advertisements issued by respondent Patanjali, in teeth of the undertaking given to this court and noticing the said advertisement by Acharya Ramdev, it is deemed appropriate to show cause why contempt proceedings not be initiated against him under the Rules to Regulate Proceedings for Contempt of the Supreme Court, 1975. He has also violated provisions of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954.”

Section 3 of the Act refers to prohibition of advertisement of some medicines for treatment of certain diseases and medical disorders, while Section 4 refers to prohibition of misleading advertisements relating to drugs.

Acharya Balkrishna’s apology to Supreme Court

Patanjali MD Acharya Balkrishna on March 21 issued an “unconditional apology” to the Supreme Court for issuing advertisements for several herbal products of the company claiming their medicinal efficacy in treating several serious diseases.

An affidavit submitted by Patanjali last month said, “The Deponent (Balkrishna) on behalf of Respondent No. 5 (Patanjali) submits an unqualified apology before this Hon’ble Court for the breach of the statement recorded in Para 3 of the order dated November 21, 2023.”

“Respondent No. 5 Company (Patanjali) now possesses evidence-based scientific data with clinical research conducted in Ayurveda, which would demonstrate the advances made through scientific research in the context of diseases…. In light of the same it is humbly submitted that the Deponent’s only quest is for a better and healthier life for each and every citizen…,” the affidavit said.

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