SC Orders Baba Ramdev, Acharya Balkrishna To Appear Personally In Court Over Patanjali

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a strong warning to Patanjali Ayurved MD Acharya Balakrishna and Yoga guru Ramdev for failing to provide a show cause notice explaining why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against them. The court further demanded Baba Ramdev’s personal presence for neglecting to respond to the show cause notice in the contempt proceedings regarding the misleading advertisements of Patanjali Ayurved.

A bench of justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah took strong exception to the failure of the company and Balkrishna in filing replies to the court’s notices issued to them earlier to show why contempt proceedings be not initiated against them for prima facie violating the undertaking given to the court. “How can you be in the teeth of our orders?” Justice Kohli said, as the Court asked Ramdev and Balkrishna to file their replies.

In the previous hearing, the Court had imposed a temporary ban on advertisements of the Patanjali Ayurved’s medicines, and issued contempt notices to its founders Ramdev and Balkrishna for making misleading claims. The top court had lamened that Patanjali has been taking the country for a ride by falsely claiming that its medicines cure certain diseases despite no empirical evidence for the same.

In February, the Supreme Court had issued a show cause notice to Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved and  Acharya Balakrishna for being in contempt due to the dissemination of misleading advertisements despite a commitment to the court. The court observed a prima facie violation of the November 2023 order and the company’s own undertaking by promoting misleading claims about curing diseases falling under the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act 1954.

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The Supreme Court also criticized the Centre for its inaction against Ramdev and his company. The court expressed disappointment over the lack of action taken by the government against the misleading advertisements being run by Patanjali Ayurved. The company’s actions were deemed to be in direct violation of the court’s order and the regulatory framework governing objectionable advertisements.

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