“Apology Not Accepted, Action Imminent”: Supreme Court Warns Patanjali

The Supreme Court reprimanded Patanjali Ayurved’s co-founder Ramdev and MD Balakrishna for their failure to file proper affidavits regarding misleading advertisements, labelling it as “absolute defiance.” 

Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah emphasised the importance of respecting court orders nationwide, declaring Patanjali’s advertisements as violating the law. Despite Patanjali’s apology last month, the court refused to accept it, stating it lacked sincerity. Ramdev’s lawyer expressed readiness for personal apologies. 

The court granted them a final week to submit their affidavits. During the hearing, the court criticised Patanjali’s MD for dismissing the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and questioned the government’s response to Patanjali’s COVID-19 remedy claims. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta offered assistance in resolving the matter.

Key takeaways from the hearing:

  1. A Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah said on Tuesday, “Not just the Supreme Court, every order passed by the courts across this country has to be respected … this is absolute defiance.”
  2. The bench told Balkrishna and Ramdev who were present in court, “You have to abide by the undertaking given to court and you have broken every barrier.” 
  3. The court also rapped the Patanjali MD for calling the Drugs and Cosmetics (Magic Remedies) Act “archaic”.
  4.  The top court wondered as to why the Centre “chose to keep its eyes shut when Patanjali was going to town saying there was no remedy for Covid in allopathy”.
  5. Senior advocate Balbir Singh, appearing for Ramdev, urged the court to take note of the presence of the yoga guru and his unconditional apology
  6. “What has happened should not have happened”, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court and offered to help the counsel for parties to find a solution to the whole issue.
  7. The counsel appearing for Patanjali sought some more time to file an affidavit in the matter. “Sometimes things should reach logical conclusion,” the bench said.