A day after the Supreme Court asked Patanjali Ayurved, the company issued another apology in the newspapers on April 24.

A day after the Supreme Court asked Patanjali Ayurved, a company co-founded by self-styled yoga guru Baba Ramdev, if its apology published in newspapers was as big and expensive as its usual “front page” advertisements for herbal drugs, the company issued another ‘bigger’ apology in the newspapers on April 24.

Calling it an “unconditional public apology”, the ad said the company issues an unconditional apology for the non-compliance orders of the Supreme Court. “In wake of on going matter before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India (Writ Petition C. No. 645/2022), we in our individual capacity as well as on behalf of the Company, unconditionally apologise for the non-compliance or disobedience of directions/orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India,” the ad read.

Patanjali, Ramdev and his associate Acharya Balkrishna are facing contempt action from the Supreme Court for publishing objectionable and misleading advertisements about their ayurvedic products.

The ad, signed by Mr. Ramdev, and the firm’s managing director Acharya Balkrishna, further read, “We unconditionally extend the apology for holding meeting/press conference dated 22.11.2023. We earnestly apologize for the mistake made in publishing our advertisements and it is our whole-hearted commitment that such errors will not be repeated. We undertake to abide by directions and instructions of the Hon’ble Court with due care and utmost sincerity. We undertake to uphold the majesty of the court and comply with applicable laws and directions of the Hon’ble Court of law/relevant authorities.”

Appearing before a Bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, for the trio, said the apology was published in 67 newspapers. “Tens of lakhs” were spent to convey their regret for misleading the public. “But is your apology the same size as the advertisements you normally issue in newspapers? Did it not cost you ‘tens of lakhs’ to put front-page advertisements?” Justice Kohli asked Mr. Rohatgi.

Contempt of court

The court was hearing a contempt case against Patanjali Ayurved, its co-founder and yoga guru Baba Ramdev and his associate Acharya Balkrishna for continuing to advertise their ayurvedic drugs in violation of the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act despite an undertaking given to the Supreme Court.

The apex court had initiated contempt proceedings against Patanjali Ayurved and Mr. Balkrishna on February 27 for violating an undertaking given to it in November 2023 that they would refrain from advertising “cures” in violation of the 1954 Act.


The Supreme Court on April 23 said the Centre should “activate itself” against Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies if they employ “misleading advertisements” about their products to target credulous consumers, especially families with babies and schoolchildren.

The court voiced its concern amid recent reports alleging higher sugar content in Nestle’s baby food products sold in India as well as in African and Latin American countries. The Union Consumer Affairs Ministry has asked the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to investigate the allegations against the leading FMCG.

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