New Delhi, Jan. 3: The Supreme Court today paved the way for authorities to restrict indiscriminate advertisement of cigarette brands and other tobacco products by staying a seven-year-old Bombay High Court order that permitted such ads.
Justices G.S. Singhvi and Gyan Sudha Misra stayed the high court order following an appeal that an NGO, Health for Millions, had filed through counsel Prashant Bhushan and Pranav Sachdeva.
The apex court’s order clears the way for implementing the “Point of Sale Rules”, which restrict advertisements of tobacco products.
In a 2005 interim order, Bombay High Court had stayed the implementation of the Point of Sale Rules, which tobacco companies had challenged.
Aggrieved by alleged blatant violations across the country by the tobacco industry, the NGO had filed the petition in the top court, which issued notices to the government and tobacco companies.
Section 5 (3) of the Cigarette and other Tobacco Products (Control) Act prohibits promotion of brand names and trademarks of any tobacco product at public places through massive hoardings.
The act also bans all forms of indirect advertisement, which has been defined as use of a name or brand of a tobacco product for marketing, promoting or advertising other goods, services and events.
The definition also covers use of particular colours, layout and/or presentation associated with particular tobacco products and their use and smoking situations when advertising other goods and services.