"What He Has Done For Yoga Is Good, But...": Supreme Court On Ramdev

The Supreme Court has accepted Ramdev and Balakrishna's request to dispense with their presence in court for now.

'What He Has Done For Yoga Is Good, But...': Supreme Court On Ramdev

Ramdev was pulled up by the Supreme Court over Patanjali's misleading ads

New Delhi:

Yoga guru Ramdev has a "lot of influence" and must use it "in the right way", the Supreme Court said today while hearing the misleading ads case against Patanjali Ayurved and its founders Ramdev and Balakrishna.

At the start of today's proceedings, Senior Advocate Balbir Singh told the bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice A Amanullah that Patanjali has written to TV channels where its ads are still running and stopped sale of the products in question. The court asked Patanjali to file an affidavit about the stocks of these products. The court also accepted Ramdev and Balakrishna's request to dispense with their presence in court for now.

"Baba Ramdev has a lot of influence, use it in the right way," the bench said. When Solicitor General Tushar Mehta mentioned that Ramdev has done a lot for yoga, Justice Hima Kohli replied, "What he has done for yoga is good, but Patanjali products is another matter."

The court reserved orders on the contempt case against Ramdev and Balkrishna. The matter will be heard next on July 9.

The court also said this matter is about ensuring the public is well-informed. "Public is cognisant, if they have choices, they make well-informed choices," it said.

The matter relates to the Indian Medical Association's petition against Patanjali and its founders for misleading ads that claim its products can cure health conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Hearing the matter, the Supreme Court warned Patanjali last year. When the ads did not stop, the court issued a contempt notice and came down heavily on the Patanjali promoters. It rejected multiple sets of ideologies, saying they were "not heartfelt" and "more of a lip service". Under fire, Patanjali put out an apology in newspapers. This did not convince the court and it asked if the size of the apology was similar to full-page advertisements of its products. Ramdev and Balakrishna then issued fresh apologies, displayed prominently in newspapers.