Updated April 23rd, 2024 at 12:34 IST

'Is Apology Same Size as Your Ads?' What Supreme Court Told Team Ramdev on Patanjali Case | 5 Points

Patanjali stated that it had issued apologies in 67 newspapers, emphasizing its profound respect for the court and its commitment to avoiding future errors.

Reported by: Digital Desk
SC Grills Team Ramdev | Image:ANI

New Delhi: Coming down heavily on Patanjali Ayurved, the Supreme Court while hearing the misleading ads case asked whether the size of an apology it put out in newspapers today was similar to its full-page advertisements of its products. For the unversed, senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing Patanjali founders Ramdev and Balkrishna, informed the court about the submission of a fresh set of apologies before the court.

Patanjali stated that it had issued apologies in 67 newspapers, emphasizing its profound respect for the court and its commitment to avoiding future errors.


Patanjali Ayurved extended its apology in the advertisement, acknowledging the "mistake of publishing advertisements and holding a press conference even after our advocates made a statement in the apex court". The company disclosed before the Supreme Court that the cost of these advertisements amounted to Rs 10 lakh. Baba Ramdev and his associate Acharya Balkrishna attended the court session in person, marking their personal presence during the proceedings. 

Patanjali Ads Case: 5 Things SC Said While Grilling Team Ramdev

  1. During the proceedings, Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah queried why Patanjali Ayurved filed its apology just a week prior to the Supreme Court hearing. "Is the apology the same size as your advertisements?" Justice Kohli asked.  
  2. The court directed Patanjali to keep cutouts of apology ads and ‘keep them handy’ for review. "Please cut out the ads and then supply it to us. Do not enlarge them and supply them to us. we want to see the actual size. This is our direction... we want to see that when you issue an ad it does not mean we have to see it by a microscope. It is not meant to be on papers but also read," the court remarked. 
  3. The Supreme Court further observed that besides Patanjali Ayurved, other FMCG companies were also publishing misleading advertisements, potentially deceiving the public "This, in particular, is affecting the health of babies, school-going children and senior citizens... who have been consuming their products," Justice Kohli said. “Now we are looking at everything… we are looking at children, babies, women, and no one can be taken for a ride and the Union government must wake up to this”, the court observed. 
  4. “Not here to gun for a particular party, it is in the larger interest of consumers or the public on how they are being misled and their entitlement to know the truth and what steps they can take," SC added.
  5. Moreover, the court underlined the importance of involving the Ministry of Consumer Affairs in the case to assess the government's actions in curbing the misuse of the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act.

‘Four Fingers Pointing at You’, SC to IMA

The Supreme Court also told the Indian Medical Association that while it is pointing fingers at Patanjali, four fingers are pointing at them. “Your (IMA) doctors also endorse medicines in the allopathic field. If that's happening, why should we not turn the beam at you (IMA)? asked the Supreme Court from IMA.  

Patanjali vs IMA: What Has Happened so Far 

Under the oversight of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah, the court scrutinises the allegations raised by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) against Patanjali. 

One of the primary allegations against Patanjali is the promotion of products claiming to cure diseases like COVID-19 without scientific substantiation. The company has been accused of defaming modern medicine and the national COVID-19 vaccination effort, which has been labelled a 'smear campaign'.


During the last hearing on April 16, Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah expressed dissatisfaction with the apologies offered by Patanjali Ayurved's founders, Ramdev and Balkrishna. The justices remarked that the apologies seemed coerced rather than genuine, reflecting the court's firm stance on the matter. This case underscores the significant ramifications of health product advertisements that make misleading claims about curing diseases without scientific evidence.

This practice is deemed to violate the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, of 1954, which prohibits the advertising of products with magical or miraculous properties purporting to cure diseases and disorders. The Act stipulates penalties including imprisonment for up to one year, fines, or both.


In November 2023, the court escalated its involvement by ordering Patanjali to immediately cease all misleading advertisements and impose a penalty of ₹1 crore. The court has repeatedly cautioned the company against making baseless health claims in its advertisements and has emphasized the seriousness of the issue.

In February 2024, the court dismissed Patanjali's apology affidavit, deeming it insufficient and merely superficial.


Published April 23rd, 2024 at 12:34 IST