Ramdev’s Apologies Continue: Second Public Apology in Newspapers in Two Days

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GG News Bureau
New Delhi, 24th April.
 Yoga guru Ramdev and his aide Balkrishna put out a public apology in newspapers today for not complying with the Supreme Court’s directions in the misleading ads case against Patanjali Ayurved Limited. Patanjali put out an apology yesterday too, but the court had asked if its size was as big as the misleading ads of its drugs.

In today’s newspapers, a prominent ad covering one-fourth of a newspaper page, titled “Unconditional Public Apology,” was published. The apology, issued by Patanjali Ayurved Limited and signed by Acharya Balkrishna and Swami Ramdev, expressed regret for the non-compliance with the Supreme Court’s orders. It specifically mentioned the disobedience related to holding a meeting/press conference dated 22.11.2023 and acknowledged the mistake made in publishing misleading advertisements. The apology emphasized the commitment to avoid such errors in the future and pledged to abide by the court’s directions and instructions with utmost sincerity.

The ad published yesterday was smaller in size and did not explicitly mention the names of Ramdev and Balkrishna. During the hearing yesterday, the bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice A Amanullah questioned the prominence of the apology, seeking confirmation if it was published in the same font and size as the earlier misleading advertisements.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing Ramdev and Balkrishna, informed the court that the apology was published in 67 newspapers at a cost of ₹ 10 lakh. However, the court insisted on receiving the actual size of the ads, stating, “Please cut out the ads and then supply it to us. Do not enlarge them and supply it to us. We want to see the actual size.”

The court scheduled the next hearing for April 30, where Ramdev and Balkrishna have been summoned to appear.

Background of the Case

The controversy stems from the launch of Patanjali’s drug, Coronil, in 2021, touted by Ramdev as the “first evidence-based medicine for COVID-19.” Patanjali claimed WHO certification for Coronil, which was disputed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) as a “blatant lie.”

Tensions escalated after a video surfaced of Ramdev criticizing allopathy, calling it a “stupid and bankrupt science.” The IMA demanded an apology, to which Patanjali Yogpeeth responded, stating Ramdev was reading from a forwarded WhatsApp message and had no hostility towards modern medicine.

In August 2022, the IMA filed a petition against Patanjali for publishing an advertisement titled ‘Misconceptions Spread By Allopathy,’ alleging the continuous dissemination of misinformation alongside false claims about curing diseases through Patanjali products.
The Supreme Court intervened, warning Patanjali against such claims and threatening heavy fines. Despite assurances from Patanjali’s counsel, the court received an anonymous letter highlighting continued misleading advertisements. Subsequent hearings revealed Patanjali’s non-compliance with court directives, leading to contempt proceedings against Ramdev and Balkrishna.

The court rejected previous apologies, citing them as insincere, and urged the defendants to demonstrate genuine remorse in future submissions.

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