Misleading advertisements case: Issued public apologies across 67 newspapers, Patanjali tells SC

New Delhi: Patanjali Ayurved on Tuesday apprised the Supreme Court that it has issued public apologies for publishing misleading advertisements.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, representing Patanjali, submitted before a bench presided over by Justice Hima Kohli that the company has published apologies across 67 daily newspapers.

At this, the Bench, also comprising Justice Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah, questioned Patanjali’s counsel if the printed apologies are of the same size as the advertisements.

Rohtagi explained that publishing at such a size would cost tens of lakhs.

Asking Patanjali to place on record the printed apologies by April 30, the next date of listing, the apex court directed to add the Union Ministries of Consumer Affairs and Information and Broadcasting and drug licensing authority of all the states as parties to the matter.

In an earlier hearing, Baba Ramdev and Patanjali Ayurved Ltd Managing Director Acharya Balkrishna orally tendered their “unqualified and unconditional apology” before the Supreme Court.

With folded hands, Baba Ramdev had said that he should have not made such public statements and would be more careful in future. “Aesa humse utsah me ho gaya, aage se hum nahi karenge (We did this out of impulse, we won’t do it again),” he had said.

On similar lines, Acharya Balkrishna had submitted, “Yeh galti agyanta mein hui hain. Aage se bahut dhyan rakhenge. Us galti par hum kshama prarthana karte hein (This mistake happened unknowingly. We will be very careful in future. We apologise for our mistakes).”

The Indian Medical Association has sought action against Patanjali for violation of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 — which prohibits the advertisement of certain products for the treatment of specified diseases and disorders, including diabetes, heart diseases, high or low blood pressure and obesity.

The ayurvedic company had earlier made an undertaking before the top court saying that it would not make any casual statements claiming the medicinal efficacy of its products or advertise or brand them in violation of law and would not release any statement against any system of medicine to the media in any form.

IANS

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