Supreme Court Censures Patanjali for Contempt, Demands Accountability from Uttarakhand Authorities

supreme Court

New Delhi: In a recent turn of events, the Supreme Court has expressed its dissatisfaction with both Patanjali Ayurved and the Uttarakhand state authorities. The court’s rebuke came after it was revealed that Yoga guru Ramdev and his associate Acharya Balkrishna had prioritized media attention over judicial compliance by circulating their apologies through news outlets before submitting them to the court. The justices noted that the affidavits were not made available to the court until the evening prior to the hearing, indicating a clear preference for publicity.

The apex court’s frustration was further compounded by the inaction of the Uttarakhand government in the face of Patanjali’s alleged legal violations. The court issued a stern warning to the state government, emphasizing that negligence would not be tolerated. It highlighted that all complaints had been duly forwarded to the government, yet the licensing inspector failed to act, prompting the court to call for the immediate suspension of the concerned officers.

Justice Kohli, addressing the Uttarakhand state licensing authority, questioned the apparent collusion with the alleged contemnors, accusing them of deliberately turning a blind eye to the infractions. The judge criticized the state drug authorities for their lack of response to Patanjali’s suggestive advertising content, which misleadingly implied that the company was pioneering in the field of Ayurvedic medicine.

The court is currently overseeing contempt proceedings against Patanjali, initiated by a plea from the Indian Medical Association (IMA), which accuses the company of undermining the national vaccination drive and modern medical practices. The proceedings were instigated following Patanjali’s failure to adhere to a previous court order that prohibited the company from making unsubstantiated claims about the medicinal efficacy of its products.

Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna

In response to the court’s show cause notice, Ramdev and Balkrishna have submitted affidavits expressing their “unconditional and unqualified apology” for the breach of the court’s order dated November 21, 2023. Ramdev, in particular, has assured the court of his regret and has vowed to prevent any recurrence of such lapses in judgment.

The Supreme Court’s actions underscore the importance of maintaining the integrity of advertising practices and the responsibility of state authorities to enforce the law without bias or favoritism. The case continues to unfold as the court seeks to uphold the rule of law and protect consumer interests.