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SC Rejects Apology, Slams Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna for ‘Wilful Disobedience’

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to accept the unconditional apology tendered by Baba Ramdev and Patanjali Ayurved MD Acharya Balkrishna, in the misleading advertisements case.

In strongly worded observations, the court said the “apology on paper” was issued only because their “back is against the wall”.

Referring to Patanjali Ayurveda allegedly publishing misleading advertisements despite their undertaking that they would desist from the same, the court asked the duo to be ready to face action in the contempt case.

“The apology is on paper. Their back is against the wall. We decline to accept this, we consider it a deliberate violation of the undertaking,” Justice Hima Kohli said.

The court described Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna’s conduct as wilful disobedience.

“We don’t accept it (apology), we decline to accept this. We consider it a wilful, deliberate disobedience of the undertaking,” the court added.

After senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi read out Baba Ramdev’s affidavit saying he tendered “unconditional and unqualified” apology, the court said the Supreme Court said the message must go out to the society.

The court also observed that the “contemnors” sent the affidavits to the media first. “They believe in publicity clearly,” the court observed.

The Supreme Court has posted the matter for further action against them on April 16.

Meanwhile, the court also pulled up Uttarakhand’s state licensing authority officials for “pushing the file” to delay action on complaints against Divya Pharmacy and going into a slumber since 2018.

What Baba Ramdev told court on Tuesday?

On Tuesday, Baba Ramdev, facing contempt proceedings, said he sincerely regretted the lapse and he wished to assure that the same will not be repeated in future.

“I seek pardon for the aforesaid breach of the statement. I undertake to always uphold the majesty of Law and majesty of Justice,” his affidavit read.

He also wrote that no advertisements claiming cures for diseases will be published. Baba Ramdev further tendered an unconditional and unqualified apology for the press conference held on November 22, 2023.

Acharya Balkrishna said that he undertakes to ensure that such offending advertisements shall not be issued in the future and he will be more vigilant ahead.

In the last hearing, a bench of justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah, asked the duo to file fresh affidavits within a week and appear in person before the court.

Last month, the court had asked Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna to appear before it after the company had not responded to its show cause notice in contempt proceedings against them over misleading advertisements.

The court had also observed that, prima facie, they had violated the top court’s November 2023 order.

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(Source: HT)

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