News Brief

Patanjali Row: Baba Ramdev, Acharya Balkrishna Apologise In Open Court For Contempt, SC Warns 'Not Off The Hook Yet'

Bhuvan Krishna

Apr 16, 2024, 02:20 PM | Updated 02:15 PM IST

Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev and his disciple Balkrishna.
Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev and his disciple Balkrishna.

Facing contempt action, Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna of Patanjali Ayurved have apologised unconditionally in an open courtroom on Tuesday (16 April) for violating a Supreme Court order prohibiting the advertising of their herbal products.

Despite their apology, the Supreme Court emphasised that they are 'not off the hook yet' in the contempt charges, as per a report by The Hindu.

Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah gave the yoga guru and his associate a week to demonstrate their sincerity in their apology.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi assured the court that his clients would take unilateral steps to redeem themselves legally and in the eyes of the public.

The court scheduled the next hearing for 23 April.

During the hearing, the bench summoned Ramdev and Balkrishna to the front of the courtroom.

Justice Kohli acknowledged Ramdev's contributions to yoga but questioned why he continued to advertise his herbal medicines despite government recommendations for an investigation under the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act.

The judges also questioned Ramdev about holding a press conference the day after giving an undertaking in the Supreme Court to refrain from advertising cures in violation of the 1954 Act.

Justice Kohli criticised Ramdev for pointing fingers at other fields of medicine and claiming superiority for his company's medicines, calling it irresponsible behaviour.

Ramdev admitted that he might have gotten carried away at some point and apologised to the Supreme Court, promising to be more prudent in the future. Balkrishna echoed Ramdev's sentiments, saying he had realised his mistakes and attributed them to a lack of knowledge.

Justice Amanullah emphasised that the law applies to everyone equally and that the court must uphold the Constitution, regardless of who is involved.

In the previous hearing on 10 April, the Supreme Court had rejected a second apology from Ramdev, Patanjali Ayurved, and Balkrishna, expressing concern about FMCG companies like Patanjali misleading the public about their products' benefits while the government failed to intervene.

Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.

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