“Not off the hook,” the Supreme Court told Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna, the founders of Patanjali

The co-founders of Patanjali Ayurved, Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna, faced contempt of court for publishing “misleading” advertisements. On Tuesday, they unconditionally apologized in person to the Supreme Court, folding their hands, saying they were “not off the hook” but agreeing to take their apologies into consideration.

After rejecting their affidavits of “unconditional” apologies on April 10, a bench made up of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah summoned the pair to come before it again on April 23 to discuss the future steps. “We’re not promising to pardon you. We can’t ignore your past… We’ll give your apologies some thought. The bench added, “You are not so innocent that you were completely unaware of what was going on,” after a short exchange with Balkrishna and Ramdev.

Additionally, the pair gave the bench their word that “they will be careful in the future and not violate the provisions of law, the orders of the court or the undertaking given to the court.”

The managing director of Patanjali Ayurveda and yoga guru Balkrishna, senior attorney Mukul Rohatgi, urged that the potential contestants issue a public apology in media.

Rohatgi said that “they (Ramdev and Balkrishna) propose to take some steps unilaterally to redeem themselves and demonstrate their bona fides.” He asked for a week to respond on this matter.

Though the Bench dictated the decision, it was up to Ramdev and Balkrishna to either provide such a public apology or take other independent, unilateral actions to demonstrate their sincerity.

We’re not suggesting they’re off the hook just yet. The Bench informed Rohtagi, “We’ll determine what to do.

Ramdev attempted to defend his viewpoint by stating that Patanjali Ayurveda had conducted extensive studies, but the Bench informed him that he had no authority to disparage allopathy or any other medical system.

Balkrishna’s claim that Ramdev was unrelated to the case was once met with disapproval from the Bench, which said, “You are trying to justify it.”

As the Bench considered the Indian Medical Association’s petition to curb the purported smear campaign and derogatory ads against the Covid-19 vaccination campaign and contemporary medications, it had previously observed that the company appeared to have broken the November 21, 2023, undertaking that the Supreme Court had given it.

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