Patanjali case: SC slams Baba Ramdev, accuses him of committing perjury

The Court came down heavily on the apology which said that the media wing of Patanjali was not aware of the court’s directions to stop issuing misleading advertisements.
Baba Ramdev
Baba Ramdev
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The Supreme Court came down heavily on the Union government for remaining silent while Patanjali Ayurved was brazenly promoting misleading advertisements regarding their products providing cure for COVID-19. The court also found fault with the apology from Patanjali for violating its order and said that the company committed a perjury offence. 

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah was hearing a contempt petition filed against Patanjali’s founder and self-styled yoga guru Baba Ramdev and Patanjali Ayurved's Managing Director Acharya Balkrishna on Tuesday, April 2. 

The Indian Medical Association had filed a petition against Ramdev for his smear campaign against doctors, modern medicine and COVID-19 vaccination drive in 2021. He claimed that modern medicine was a “scam.” In the meantime, Patanjali promoted its products of curing COVID-19. 

Last year, the court had warned Patanjali to immediately refrain from publishing misleading claims and advertisements about its products providing ‘cure’ for diseases. 

Earlier on March 21, the company apologised for breaching the court's order and said it was ready to mend their ways. However, the apex court severely criticised the company over its apology. Instead of banning the misleading advertisements, Patanjali continued to make false claims. They claimed that the media wing of the company was not aware of the court’s directions.

Responding to this, Justice Kohli, according to the Bar and Bench said, “This is a gross violation of the undertaking given to the Supreme Court. You have to ensure that the undertaking 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. You violated the solemn undertaking with impunity.”

Refusing to accept the apology, she added, “We are not willing to accept this and this is perfunctory! What is the reason to accept your apology?" 

Slamming the Union government for not taking effective action against Patanjali, the bench said that Baba Ramdev’s company would not have brazen it out without their approval during COVID-19 lockdown. “COVID was in 2022 and you had yourself stated that these were at best a supplement to the main medicine. It was a critical period and this was not publicised at all,” Justice Kohli said.

The court also said that it was likely that Patanjali was lying to the court. “You said that the documents have been attached, but the documents were created later on. This is a clear case of perjury.”

Ramdev also drew flak for holding a press conference shortly after the Supreme Court cautioned Patanjali against publishing misleading ads.

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