Ramdev and Balkrishna’s apologies were rejected by the court, which stated that it will issue an order on April 16.

New Delhi, India: “What about all the faceless people who have consumed these Patanjali medicines stated to cure diseases which cannot be cured?” In its harsh indictment of the Uttarakhand government for its passivity against the Haridwar-based Patanjali Ayurveda, which was established by yoga master Ramdev and his assistant Balkrishna, the Supreme Court made these pointed statements.
The courthouse bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice A Amanullah rejected the apologies of Ramdev and Balkrishna and declared that it will issue an order on April 16. The court’s statements included a “post office” metaphor for state authorities and a “will rip you apart” warning. This follows the Indian Medical Association’s (IMA) nearly three-year battle against false statements made by Patanjali and Ramdev.

The First: Launch of Coronil
Just prior to the Covid-19 Delta wave, in February 2021, Ramdev introduced Patanjali’s Coronil, which he called the “first evidence-based medicine for COVID-19”. Then-Union Health Minister and physician Harsh Vardhan was present for the launch. According to the event poster, Coronoil is recognized by the WHO’s Good Manufacturing Practices and has a certificate of pharmaceutical product. WHO made it clear, nevertheless, that it has not examined or approved any conventional medicine for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.
The WHO’s “blatant lie” about a “secret medicine” being certified in front of the Health Minister startled IMA, according to the organization. It stated that the nation “needs an explanation” from the minister.

After a few months, a video purportedly featuring Ramdev went viral, in which he declared that allopathy was a “stupid and bankrupt sign” that was “responsible for the deaths of lakhs of people”. He indicated there was no contemporary treatment for COVID-19. In response, the IMA served Ramdev with a legal notice requesting an apology and the removal of all statements made. In a statement, it urged Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the Health Minister at the time, to file charges against the yoga master under the Epidemic Diseases Act. In response to criticism, Patanjali Yogpeeth stated that Ramdev was merely paraphrasing a message that had been forwarded from WhatsApp and had no animosity toward contemporary science.

What Were the Authorities Attempting to Do?
As per a report by the BBC, Patanjali pushed the state authorities in December 2020 to modify Coronil’s license from “immunity booster” to “medicine for Covid-19.” The product was approved as a “supporting measure” against Covid, the company announced the following month.
The BBC was subsequently informed by the AYUSH Ministry and the Uttarakhand state authorities that a fresh license had been granted; however, they clarified that Coronil was “not a cure” for Covid. Dr. YS Rawat, who was the director of the Uttarakhand traditional medicine department and state licensing authority at the time, stated, “The upgraded licence means it can be sold like zinc, vitamin C, multi-vitamins, or any other supplemental medicines.” He declared, “It [Coronil] is not a cure.”

In response to the Supreme Court, the Center stated that Patanjali had been instructed to refrain from running deceptive ads until the Ayush Ministry had had a chance to review the situation. It further stated that the State Licensing Authority was notified that the Coronil tablet “may only be considered as supporting measure in Covid-19” following a thorough interdisciplinary approach. It further stated that the Center has responded proactively to deceptive claims on the cure for COVID-19.

The Situation
Appearing in newspapers with the banner ‘Misconceptions Spread By Allopathy: Save Yourself And The Country From The Misconceptions Spread By Pharma And Medical Industry’, Patanjali was the target of a petition filed by the IMA in August 2022. The advertisement said that Patanjali medications had healed patients of asthma, diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, high blood pressure, thyroid, and arthritis.
The doctors’ group also mentioned Ramdev’s previous comments about contemporary medicine, stating that Patanjali’s attempts to make erroneous and unsubstantiated claims about curing specific ailments with Patanjali products go hand in hand with the “continuous, systematic, and unabated spread of misinformation.”

According to the Drugs and Other Magical Remedies Act, which governs the claims made about magic pills, deceptive advertising is punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine.
The Supreme Court threatened to impose high fines on Patanjali on November 21, 2023, and cautioned the company against making promises that its products could heal conditions like diabetes and hypertension entirely.
According to court documents, Patanjali’s attorney had promised that “henceforth, there shall not be any violation of any of the laws, especially relating to advertisement and branding of products”. “No casual statements of claiming medicinal efficacy of any system of medicine will be released to the media in any form,” he further promised the court.

What’s Occurred Right Now
An anonymous letter sent to Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, with copies to Justice Kohli and Justice Amanullah, was received by the Supreme Court on January 15 of this year. The letter brought up the deceptive ads Patanjali kept running. Senior Advocate PS Patwalia, the attorney for IMA, also displayed the text of a press conference held by Ramdev and Balkrishna immediately following the court ruling, as well as newspaper ads following the November 21, 2023 threat.
The judge stated, “Prima facie, this Court is of the opinion that the respondent no.5-Patanjali Ayurved Limited has violated the undertaking given by it and recorded in the order dated 21st November, 2023.”

It asked the business to respond and explain why there was no need to file for contempt. The court declared that the administration was “sitting with its eyes shut” and that the “country is being taken for a ride” in forceful statements.
The court was informed that Patanjali had neglected to submit his response to the contempt notice during the subsequent hearing on March 19. It then requested an in-person appearance from Ramdev and Balkrishna. The managing director of Patanjali, Balkrishna, apologized categorically on March 21.

The Takedown

During their hearing on April 2, the court severely criticized Ramdev and Balkrishna for their “absolute defiance” in failing to file the required affidavits on the deceptive marketing. The advertisements are in the “teeth of law,” the court said, and they were instructed to be “ready for action.”
“It was your responsibility to see that the serious pledge was followed in letter and spirit. We may also apologize for not taking it. This court is not being persuaded by your apology. The Supreme Court rejected their apology and ordered them to submit affidavits within a week, stating that it was more of a lip service.

The Supreme Court rejected this set of apologies yesterday, pointing out that they were distributed to the media beforehand. The contemnors did not think it appropriate to submit us the affidavits until the case was before the court. They sent it to the media first, and it wasn’t uploaded for us until 7:30 p.m. yesterday. It is evident that they value notoriety,” Judge Kohli remarked.
Speaking on behalf of the Patanjali founders, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi stated that the apology had been fulfilled and that he was unable to speak for the registry.
How “even heartfelt” is the apology, Justice Amanullah questioned. “Apologizing alone is insufficient. You ought to pay the price for disobeying the court’s ruling. In this instance, we don’t want to be giving,” he remarked.


By newsparviews.com

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