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‘Rip you apart’ comment by SC judge Ahsanuddin Amanullah in Patanjali misleading ads case enrages present and former judges

The remarks were made in the context of the Uttarakhand government's alleged laxity in restricting misleading ads by Patanjali.

“We will rip you apart” remark by Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah while rejecting the apology of Baba Ramdev and Patanjali Ayurved MD Acharya Balkrishna has sparked a debate. The said remarks were made by the Supreme Court judge on 10th April during the hearing in Patanjali Ayurved misleading advertisements case.

The remarks were made in the context of the Uttarakhand government’s alleged laxity in restricting misleading ads by Patanjali.

Justice Amanullah’s comment has been criticised by several former judges, ex-CJIs and Supreme Court judges. They asserted that court proceedings have set norms for sobriety and moderation and have provided a forum for dispassionate debate on issues of legality, constitutionality, and the rule of law. They said that the much-feared contempt of court power served to uphold the rule of law, the dignity of courts, and the integrity of their rulings.

Former judges said that the “we will rip you apart” comment verged on a street brawl threat and could never be part of the obiter dicta lexicon of a constitutional court judge, TOI reported.

The comments made by Justice Amanullah recalled memories of the hearings on October 24, 2005, before a bench presided over by Justice B N Agrawal. The judge had questioned, “What is the Bihar governor doing with a bungalow in Delhi? He cannot be allotted a bungalow here. Throw him out,” after finding that politician Buta Singh, who was the governor of Bihar at the time, was unlawfully retaining possession of a government bungalow in Delhi while defying many eviction orders.

Speaking to TOI, former judges and CJIs recommended that Justice Amanullah, who was appointed to the Supreme Court in February of last year, read through two cases to familiarise himself with the appropriate judicial demeanour: Krishna Swamy v. Union of India (1992) and C Ravichandran Iyer v. Justice A M Bhattacherjee (1995).

Observing that the conduct of constitutional court judges should be far superior to the ordinary people, the Supreme Court in Krishna Swamy case had said, “The standards of judicial behaviour, both on and off the bench, are normally high… an unwritten code of conduct of well-established traditions is the guideline for judicial conduct. The conduct that tends to undermine public confidence in the character, integrity or impartiality of the judge must be eschewed. It is expected of him to voluntarily set forth wholesome standards of conduct reaffirming fitness to higher responsibilities.”

In the Ravichandran Iyer case, the Supreme Court has observed, “Judicial office is essentially a public trust. Society is, therefore, entitled to expect that a judge must be a man of high integrity, honesty and required to have moral vigour, ethical firmness and impervious to corrupt or venial influences. He is required to keep the most exacting standards of propriety in judicial conduct. Any conduct which tends to undermine public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the court would be deleterious to the efficacy of judicial process…”

‘Loose tongue’: When SC judges’ remarks on Nupur Sharma reflected Sharia mentality

In July 2022, while hearing former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s plea to move all FIRs against her to Delhi, SC judges Surya Kant and Pardiwala had stated that Nupur Sharma’s ‘loose tongue’ had set the entire country on fire and she should apologise to the whole country.

Blaming Nupur Sharma for the chaos unleashed by the Islamists and the regressive ideas that ambiguously declare any criticism of the Islamic prophet as ‘blasphemy’, the apex court of the country surprisingly ignored the hatred and violence unleashed by Islamists and had instead blamed the woman who had stated merely what is written in Islamic hadiths, and affirmed by Islamic scholars all over the world.

However, the ‘loose tongue’ remarks were not made a part of the formal order in the case.

SC rejected Patanjali’s apology

Notably, On 10th April, Yoga guru Baba Ramdev and Patanjali Ayurved’s Managing Director Balkrishna, faced a severe backlash from the Supreme Court of India as the apex court rejected their unconditional apologies regarding the publication of misleading ads. The court deemed their apology as insincere and highlighted that the two apologised only after the matter was brought to light.

On 9th April, Baba Ramdev and Balkrishna tendered an unconditional apology. The affidavit read, “I hereby tender my unconditional apology regarding the issue of advertisements which occurred after the statement of counsel of respondent no. 5 (Patanjali) which was recorded in the order dated November 21, 2023, which I am informed has the force of an injunction.”

Furthermore, Baba Ramdev and Balkrishna apologised for the November 2023 press conference. However, the apex court was not convinced and rejected it on 10th April. The court called it insufficient and hinted Patanjali must face consequences for their actions. The bench expressed surprise over the fact that the affidavit was sent to the media before it was uploaded for the court. 

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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