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SC to hear Patanjali ’misleading’ ads case on April 10

Mangalore Today News Network

New Delhi, April 2, 2024: The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the apology Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev sought to make in a contempt case, arising out of advertisements issued by Patanjali Ayurved on cure of various diseases.

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah said the apology is "perfunctory and mere a lip service" and there was "absolute defiance and belligerence" on his part.

Pathanjali ad case

The court also pulled up the Union government as to why it kept its eyes shut to the claims made by Patanjali Ayurved over its claim made on curing diseases, saying both the central government and state governments were "complicit" in their activities.

In view of Baba Ramdev’s standing in society, the bench said, "Their responsibility is more onerous than a common citizen. We are taking very seriously. The purpose of the law is to make the majesty of law prevail. Disparaging other fields of medicine is unacceptable."

Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna, who were personally present in the court, sought to assert before the court through their counsel that they wanted to apologise for their failure to file an affidavit in the matter.

The matter is related to a petition filed by the Indian Medical Association.

Senior advocate Balbir Singh, appearing for Baba Ramdev, sought to present the affidavit across the bar and tender the apology but the court declined to consider it.

"You have to abide by the undertaking given to the Court. You have broken every barrier.Now to say that you are sorry is not acceptable," the bench told Singh.

On this, Singh said, "I can say with folded hands that the gentleman is present in the court and the court may record his apology."

During the hearing, the bench also decried a statement by Patanjali MD’s affidavit that the Drugs and Cosmetics (Magic Remedies) Act is archaic.

"Should we assume every Act, which is archaic is not to be enforced? When there is an Act which governs the field, you violated it with impunity...If science has made progress, what did you do to make representation with the government," the bench said.

The court also expressed its strong disapproval of the press conference held by Baba Ramdev after the SC’s previous order and publication of advertisements.

"You are in teeth of undertaking given by your organisation, you went with Press Conference, your advertisement came after two months," the bench said.

The court also rejected a submission by senior advocate Vipin Sanghvi that the advertisements were issued by the media department, which was unaware of the proceedings before the court.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, submitted that whatever has happened should not have happened. He suggested that he would sit with the counsel and prepare the affidavit to be filed in the court.

"We are wondering why the Union of India kept its eyes shut," the bench said.

Mehta also referred to reliefs being sought by the petitioner IMA, including that the allopathy can’t be criticised, contending there can be people who can say only Ayurveda and Homoeopathic streams are a better way of treatment and even within Allopathy, there can be criticism by one department against the other.

The bench said it would consider those assertions when it would examine the main matter.

The court finally gave one last opportunity to the parties to file their affidavit within a week in the matter and fixed the matter for consideration on April 10.

The bench again directed both Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna to remain present in the court on the next date of hearing.

Courtesy: Deccan Herald

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