National

Patanjali Ad Row: MD Acharya Balkrishna Tenders Apology A Day After Supreme Court Summons | All About The Case

Patanjali Managing Director Acharya Balkrishna's apology came in an affidavit exactly a day after the Supreme Court summoned him to appear in person before the apex court along with Baba Ramdev on April 2.

PTI
Patanjali MD Acharya Balkrishna (right) with Baba Ramdev (left)| Photo: PTI
info_icon

Amid the ongoing row over the misleading advertisements rolled out by Patanjali Ayurved Limited, the managing director of the company, Acharya Balkrishna on Thursday offered an unconditional apology.

As per the claims made in the controversial advertisements, the company's formulations possess miraculous abilities and they also question the credibility and effectiveness of modern medicine.

Acharya Balkrishna's apology came in an affidavit exactly a day after the Supreme Court summoned him to appear in person before the top court along with Baba Ramdev on April 2.

Patanjali Advertisement: The Misleading Claims

The misleading advertisements rolled out by the company claimed about curing a wide range of incurable medical conditions including blood pressure, diabetes, asthma amongst many others.

A claim of this nature is not only a violation of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 but also contempt of Court as the apex court, on November 21, 2023, restrained Patanjali from issuing such advertisements and recorded an undertaking given by the company to this effect.

About the Patanjali MD's Apology Affidavit

In his apology affidavit, Balkrishna said that he regreted the company’s advertisement containing the “offending sentences”. According to the MD, the advertisement included the claims “inadvertently”.

“The deponent regrets that the advertisement in question, which was meant to contain only general statements, inadvertently included the offending sentences...The deponent on behalf of respondent (Patanjali Ayurved) submits an unqualified apology before this Court for the breach of the statement recorded in the order of November 21, 2023. The deponent will ensure such advertisements are not issued in future”, the affidavid read.

Furthermore, Balkrishna also claimed that the department that issued the advertisement did not know of the court order.

However, in his affidavit he also insisted that the company was in the right. “The respondent (Patanjali) now possesses evidence-based scientific data with clinical research conducted in Ayurveda, which would demonstrate the advances made through scientific research in the context of diseases mentioned in the Schedule to the 1954 Act.”

This schedule provides for a list of diseases on which advertisement claiming cure is prohibited.

The nature of this evidence at the company’s disposal is unclear.

He further said, “The Schedule to the 1954 Act read with Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Rules, 1955 is in an archaic state and the last changes were introduced in 1996 when scientific evidence in Ayurveda research was lacking.”

SC Came Down Heavily On Patanjali

Taking cognisance of the misleading advertisements issued by Patanjali despite the November 2023 order, a bench of justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah had come down heavily on Balkrishna for violating the undertaking given to Court and for not filing an affidavit within the two weeks period granted on February 27.

The Court added Balkrishna as a party to the proceeding last month seeking his response for alleged contempt of Court. On Tuesday, Baba Ramdev was also added as a party and asked to appear personally before the Court.

About The SC Order

The Supreme Court order was passed after the Indian Medical Association (IMA) filed a petition and sought to restrain Patanjali from making false and misleading claims about curing diseases and questioning the effectiveness of modern medicine.

The order, uploaded on Wednesday said, “Having gone through the advertisements issued by the respondent (Patanjali) in the teeth of the undertaking given to this Court on November 21 and on noticing that the said advertisements reflect an endorsement thereof by Baba Ramdev, it is deemed appropriate to issue notice to show cause as to why the contempt proceedings be not initiated against him as this Court is prima facie of the opinion that he too has violated the provisions of Section 3 and 4 of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 read with Rule 6 of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Rules, 1955.”

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement