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Misleading advertisements: SC again rejects apology by Baba Ramdev; Acharya Balkrishna

By Jhanak Singh      10 April, 2024 05:09 PM      0 Comments
Misleading advertisements SC again rejects apology by Baba Ramdev Acharya Balkrishna

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected apologies tendered by Yoga Guru Swami Ramdev and Patanjali's MD Acharya Balkrishna for their "wilful, and deliberate disobedience" of their undertaking in relation to advertisements claiming cures for various diseases.

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah indicated that the court may take action against all FMCGs who are making people walk the garden path.    

Also Read-  Misleading advts case: Baba Ramdev, Balkrishna tender apology 

The court said a message should go to the society at large and the contemnors would suffer consequences.

The court also felt the apology came when they found their back against the wall for issuing the advertisements.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Indian Medical Association.

As counsel for Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna referred to apology, the bench said, "We decline to accept this affidavit. It was deliberate and wilful. They have to suffer consequences. We don't want to be generous in this case." 

"Why should we not treat your apology with the same disdain as shown to court undertaking," the bench asked senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Balbir Singh, appearing for contemnors.

The counsel cited second affidavits by Ramdev, Balkrishna and the company tendering unqualified and unconditional apology.

"We are not convinced," the bench said, adding they are taking the proceedings very lightly.

The court noted attempts made by them to wriggle out from the personal appearance citing their foreign trips.

The bench pointed out Ramdev and Balkrishna tried to evade personal appearance before the court by making false claims of travel abroad.

The court said in the affidavit affirmed on March 30, flight tickets dated March 31 were annexed and when the affidavit was sworn, flight tickets were not in existence.

The bench also pulled the Uttarakhand Licencing Authority over inaction and failure to take any action against Divya Pharmacy despite letters issued by the Union government.

"We will rip you apart," the bench told the officer, who was personally present in the court.

The bench said the state authorities were hand in glove with the company, while asking for suspension of the concerned officers. The department was acting like a post office, it said.

The court severely reprimanded Joint Director Mithlesh Kumar for inaction and sought a response from him and his predecessors as to what action they took into the matter, except issuing a warning, going against the mandate of law.

"We are appalled to note except for pushing the files, they did nothing.
There was a clear attempt to pass the buck and to delay the matter.
In all these years, state licencing authority remained in deep slumber," the bench said.

"This is deliberate, and absolute folly on the part of licensing authority," the bench said.

"We are inclined to issue contempt notice but are refraining at present. They should file an affidavit," the bench said.

The court fixed the matter related to contempt action against Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna on April 16 and against the Uttarakhand State licencing authority on April 30.

On April 2, the court had rejected an apology by Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna for having violated the provisions of Section 3 and 4 of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954, read with Rule 6 of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Rules, 1955.

 



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