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    Supreme Court Rebukes Ramdev Again: Public Apology Demanded for Misleading Patanjali Ads

    The Indian Supreme Court rebukes Baba Ramdev's Patanjali Ayurved for recurring false health product ads, rejecting their apology as inadequate. Justices criticized Ramdev's conduct, questioning Uttarakhand government's oversight. A week's ultimatum for a public apology was granted, hinting at potential repercussions. The Indian Medical Association welcomes the court's stance, as Patanjali's reputation falters amid the ongoing legal battle. Future advertising strategies hang in uncertainty pending the court's decision.

    The Supreme Court of India has once again taken yoga guru Baba Ramdev and his company Patanjali Ayurved to task for airing misleading advertisements for their health products. This comes after a long-standing legal battle between Patanjali and the Indian Medical Association (IMA) regarding false claims made in their marketing campaigns.

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    Court Dismisses “Unconditional Apology”

    On April 10, 2024, a two-judge bench led by Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah rejected Patanjali’s “unconditional apology” submitted in the contempt case. The court deemed the repeated violations of previous orders “willful, deliberate, and irresponsible.” The judges expressed dissatisfaction with the affidavit filed by Patanjali, calling it insufficient.

    Ramdev’s “Irresponsible Behavior” Under Scrutiny

    The hearing on April 10th saw the court criticize Ramdev himself. Justices Kohli and Amanullah directly addressed Ramdev, stating, “You are not innocent,” and highlighting his “irresponsible behavior” regarding misleading advertisements. This strong language reflects the court’s growing frustration with Patanjali’s actions.

    Uttarakhand Government Faces Scrutiny

    The court also questioned the role of the Uttarakhand government, which licenses Patanjali products. The judges expressed doubt about the licensing authority’s thoroughness, asking, “Do you have the guts to do what you are doing? Are you acting as a post office?” This implies a potential investigation into the licensing process for Patanjali’s products.

    One Week for Public Apology

    Despite the harsh criticism, the court granted Ramdev and Patanjali managing director Acharya Balkrishna a one-week window to issue a public apology. This signifies the court’s desire for corrective action while leaving some room for potential resolution. The next hearing is scheduled for April 23, 2024.

    IMA Welcomes Court’s Action

    The Indian Medical Association, the original petitioner in the case, expressed satisfaction with the court’s stance. IMA representatives believe the strong message sent by the judges will deter future instances of misleading advertising in the healthcare sector.

    Impact on Patanjali’s Reputation

    This ongoing legal battle has cast a shadow on Patanjali’s reputation. Consumers are likely to be more cautious about the claims made in the company’s advertisements. The requirement for a public apology could further damage public trust in the brand.

    Uncertain Future for Patanjali Ads

    The outcome of the case remains to be seen. If Patanjali fails to comply with the court’s demands or submits an unsatisfactory public apology, further penalties could be imposed. The court’s decision will significantly impact the way Patanjali advertises its products in the future.

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