Ramdev, aide tried to wriggle out of personal appearance in Patanjali case: Supreme Court | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Ramdev, aide tried to wriggle out of personal appearance in Patanjali case: Supreme Court

PTI |
Apr 10, 2024 09:48 PM IST

SC said they were directed to present themselves but attempted to avoid it by moving applications seeking exemption on grounds that they were travelling abroad.

Yoga guru Ramdev and his close aide Balkrishna of Patanjali Ayurved attempted to "wriggle out" of their personal appearance in the apex court which is "most unacceptable", the Supreme Court observed on Wednesday.

Yog Guru Baba Ramdev appears before the Supreme Court for the hearing in the misleading advertisement case filed against the Patanjali Ayurveda, in New Delhi. (ANI Photo)
Yog Guru Baba Ramdev appears before the Supreme Court for the hearing in the misleading advertisement case filed against the Patanjali Ayurveda, in New Delhi. (ANI Photo)

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah said, after notices to show cause were issued to them over "misleading" advertisements by the ayurveda firm and for flouting an undertaking given to the court, they were directed to present themselves but they attempted to avoid that by moving applications seeking exemption on the ground that they were travelling abroad.

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The bench said affidavits were filed by them with applications referring to the tickets purchased by their travel agent for going abroad "which strangely enough were issued on the next date to which the affidavits were sworn, that is on March 31, 2024".

The bench noted that when confronted with the aforesaid position at the previous hearing, the advocate appearing for them had sought time to obtain clarifications.

"It is now being stated in the affidavits filed by the proposed contemnors that admittedly the tickets were issued on a day after the affidavit was sworn and explains that at the time of filing of the affidavits, the photocopies of the tickets were enclosed with the applications, that is on March 31," the bench said.

Read Here | 'Wilful disobedience': Supreme Court slams Baba Ramdev, Acharya Balkrishna, rejects apology

"The fact remains that on the date when the affidavits were sworn, there was no such ticket in existence and therefore, the assumption is that the respondents were trying to wriggle out of their personal appearance before this court which is most unacceptable," it said.

In their latest affidavits filed in the apex court, both Ramdev and Balkrishna have explained as to how they had instructed their travel agent for taking steps to issue tickets on March 30.

"It was my intention to place the tickets so issued before this court to show the genuineness of my statement about my travel," Ramdev said in his affidavit, adding that the travel agent issued the tickets on March 31.

"It was only after having received the said tickets which were annexed the said application was filed before this court. I sincerely regret the lapse in my affidavit supporting the IA (interim application for permission to appear virtually) inasmuch as the air ticket was dated March 31, 2024 while the affidavit was dated March 30, 2024 and the application was e-filed at midnight on March 31/ April 1, 2024," he said.

Read Here | ‘Broken every barrier’: Supreme Court raps Baba Ramdev, Patanjali for ‘defiance’

The bench posted the matter for further hearing on April 16.

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

In its November 21, 2023 order, the top court had noted that counsel representing Patanjali Ayurved had assured it that "henceforth there shall not be any violation of any law(s), especially relating to advertising or branding of products manufactured and marketed by it and, further, that no casual statements claiming medicinal efficacy or against any system of medicine will be released to the media in any form".

The top court had said Patanjali Ayurved Ltd is "bound down to such assurance".

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