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SC rebukes Ramdev, Acharya Balkrishna for ‘absolute defiance’ in Patanjali ad case

Updated – April 02, 2024 at 03:43 PM.
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New Delhi

The court granted them a week to file their affidavits and directed their presence on the next hearing on April 10

The Supreme Court disapproved of Balkrishna’s statement calling the Drugs and Cosmetics Act “archaic.” Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah expressed displeasure at the duo’s actions, noting that they had broken every barrier.


The Supreme Court disapproved of Balkrishna’s statement calling the Drugs and Cosmetics Act “archaic.” Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah expressed displeasure at the duo’s actions, noting that they had broken every barrier.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday came down hard on yoga guru Ramdev and managing director of Patanjali Ayurved Acharya Balkrishna for their “absolute defiance” in not filing proper affidavits of compliance in the misleading advertisement case and breaking “every barrier”.

It also disapproved of the Patanjali MD’s statement that the Drugs and Cosmetics (Magic Remedies) Act is “archaic”.

“Not just the Supreme Court, every order passed by the courts across this country has to be respected … this is absolute defiance,” a bench comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah said.

“You have to abide by undertaking given to court and you have broken every barrier,” the bench told Ramdev and the Patanjali MD, who were present in person.

The top court wondered as to why the Centre “chose to keep its eyes shut when Patanjali was going to town saying there were no remedy for Covid in allopathy”.

Senior advocate Balbir Singh, appearing for Ramdev, urged the court to take note of the presence of the yoga guru and his unconditional apology.

What has happened should not have happened, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court and offered to help the counsel for parties to find a solution to the whole issue.

“You should have made sure affidavit is filed in pursuance of your solemn undertakings,” Justice Kohli told the counsel for Balkrishna.

“Sometimes things should reach logical conclusion,” the bench said at the outset of the proceedings when the counsel for Patanjali and others sought some more time for filing the affidavits of compliance.

The bench granted last opportunity to Ramdev and Balkrishna to file their affidavits in the matter in one week.

While posting the matter for further hearing on April 10, the bench directed that both of them shall remain present before it on the next date. On March 19, the apex court had directed Ramdev and Balkrishna to appear before it after taking exception to the company’s failure to respond to the notice issued in the case relating to advertisements of the firm’s products and their medicinal efficacy.

The top court had said it deemed it appropriate to issue a show cause notice to Ramdev as the advertisements issued by Patanjali, which were in the teeth of the undertaking given to the court on November 21, 2023, reflect an endorsement by him.

“Both are present?” the bench asked on Tuesday. The counsel appearing for Ramdev said both of them are in the court.

The bench observed that advertisements issued by Patanjali are in the “teeth of law” of the land.

Last month, Balkrishna had tendered an unqualified apology to the apex court for advertising the herbal products of the firm claiming their medicinal efficacy in treating several serious diseases and running down other systems of medicine.

Patanjali Ayurved Ltd had assured the top court on November 21, 2023 that it will not violate any law, especially the laws relating to advertising or branding of products.

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