Misleading ads case: SC asks Ramdev, Balkrishna if apology published prominently in newspapers

Yoga guru Ramdev leaves after appearing before the Supreme Court in connection with the Patanjali misleading advertisements case, in New Delhi, Tuesday, April 23, 2024.
Yoga guru Ramdev leaves after appearing before the Supreme Court in connection with the Patanjali misleading advertisements case, in New Delhi, Tuesday, April 23, 2024.

New Delhi | In the cross hairs of the Supreme Court over misleading advertisements, Yoga Guru Ramdev and his aide Balkrishna on Tuesday faced questions about how prominently they have published their unqualified apology in newspapers.

"Is it the same size of advertisements that you normally issue in newspapers?" a bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah asked them while hearing the case related to misleading advertisements by Patanjali Ayurved Ltd.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the duo, told the bench they have issued on Monday an unqualified apology for the "lapses" on their part.

"Where was it published?" the bench asked.

Rohatgi said the apology has been published in 67 newspapers across the country.

"Prominently?" the bench probed the advocate further and directed that the apology published be filed on record. It said it wanted to see the actual apology published in newspapers.

"The said advertisements are not on record. It is submitted that the same have been collated and shall be filed in the course of the day with copies to counsel for the parties. Needful shall be done within two days with copies to counsel for the parties," the bench said.

It said the matter related to the apology published by Ramdev and Balkrishna will be considered on April 30.

The apex court is hearing a plea filed in 2022 by the Indian Medical Association alleging a smear campaign against the Covid vaccination drive and modern systems of medicine.

Ramdev and Balkrishna had earlier tendered an "unconditional and unqualified apology" before the top court over advertisements issued by the firm making tall claims about the medicinal efficacy of its products.

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