SC Summons Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna in Patanjali Misleading Ad Case

The Supreme Court (SC) has criticized Patanjali Ayurved for not responding to a contempt notice regarding misleading advertisements and has ordered yoga guru Ramdev to appear before it. The bench, comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah, has also summoned Patanjali Managing Director Acharya Balkrishna.

Last month, the Supreme Court reprimanded Patanjali for violating its assurances regarding product quality and efficacy. The court issued a notice to Patanjali and Balkrishna, questioning why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them.

Despite holding a press conference after the previous order, Patanjali did not file a response, prompting the court to summon the Managing Director for the next hearing. The court noted that both Ramdev and Balkrishna were prima facie in violation of Sections 3 and 4 of the Drugs and Remedies Act, which pertain to misleading advertisements of medicines.

Furthermore, the court issued a contempt notice to Ramdev and asked him to explain why he should not face contempt of court charges. “Now, we will ask your client to appear in court. Now, we will make Baba Ramdev also a party. Both will be asked to appear in court,” the Supreme Court told senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing on behalf of Patanjali Ayurved. The court further said it was not postponing the hearing of the case. 

This is not the first time that the apex court has pulled up Patanajali. It has previously warned them against misleading advertising, where they’ve stated that their products can “cure” diseases, and even warned the company back in November that it would be fined Rs. 1 crore for such claims. The SC also slammed the Union Government for its lack of intervention against Patanjali’s advertisements, leading to this summons.