Saturday, April 20, 2024

“Absolute defiance, perjury”: Supreme Court slams Patanjali over its apology affidavit in misleading ads case

Ramdev have launched successful businesses on the back of selling herbal medicines and products.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rebuked Patanjali Ayurved over the casual apology affidavit it submitted before the top court for its failure to stop carrying misleading advertisements to promote its ayurvedic products by disparaging modern medicine.

“If this is indefensible, then your apology will not work. This is a gross violation of the undertaking given to the top court. You have to ensure that your undertaking which is solemn should have been adhered to. We can say that we do not wish to accept that the media department does not know about what is happening in this court and it is an island. This is more of a lip service! … You violated the solemn undertaking with impunity. We are not willing to accept this and this is perfunctory! What is the reason to accept your apology?” Justice Hima Kohli remarked.

“This is all humbug! You say ‘if the court feels, etc.’ … We cannot look into your heart! This is not how contempt cases are dealt with. In some matters, some cases have to be taken to their logical end. There cannot be so much magnanimity!” Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah added.

During the hearing, the bench further noted that Patanjali appeared to be guilty of perjury, the Bar and Bench reported.

“You said documents have been attached, but the documents were created later on. This is a clear case of perjury! We are not closing the doors on you but we are telling all that we have noted,” Justice Kohli said.

The apex court also criticised Patanjali’s founder, Baba Ramdev, for the manner in which he held a press conference shortly after the top court cautioned Patanjali against publishing misleading ads.

The Court was not impressed by a reply by Ramdev’s counsel that the strictures from the bench would serve as a lesson for him.

“We are not here to teach them. (With) the respect they command, they cannot be compared to common citizens. They claim to have done great research. We are taking this seriously because of this only. We usually do not follow through contempt cases and it is about making one realise the majesty of law but there are exceptions and perhaps you are falling under that exception,” the top court said.

The matter will be heard next on April 10, when Patanjali and its management have been ordered to file a better affidavit of apology.

“…It is also stated that the affidavit will be filed today and a better one is also to be filed. Last opportunity given to file and let it be filed within one week,” the Court ordered.

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