Advertisement of items, claiming miraculous or supernatural powers via television is illegal -Bombay High court
A petition was filed for prevention of the telecast of advertisement on TV channels by which there was propagation for sales of item claiming miraculous or supernatural powers ,articles like Hanuman Chalisa Yantra. Bombay High Court Bans Propagation For Sales Of Item Claiming Miraculous or Supernatural Powers via Television Advertisement ON 6 Jan 2021 In an important ruling, the Bombay High Court on 05th January held that the sale of items, claiming that they possess miraculous or supernatural powers via television advertisement is illegal.
Bombay High Court comprising bench of Justice Tanaji Nalawade and Justice Mukund Sewlikar held that the TV channel, telecasting such advertisement, would be liable under the provisions of the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of (Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori) Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013.
- The propaganda was made to exploit the persons, who are superstitious by nature and to promote the sale
- There was a false information that the Yantra was prepared by one Baba Mangalnath, who had achieved Siddhi
- Advertisement falsely states that bringing Yantra to home was like bringing Lord Hanuman himself to home and one, who was using it was feeling that Lord Hanuman was with him and Lord Hanuman was giving every kind of protection to him.
- The celebrities like Manoj Kumar (the then renowned film producer, writer, director, actor), Anuradha Paudwal (singer) and Anup Jalota (singer) were shown in the advertisement and their experiences were quoted that they had received benefits and they had experienced miracles by using the aforesaid Yantra.
- Extracting money through false advertisements from the people by selling articles like Hanuman Chalisa Yantra, which is like a pendant, can be covered under Section 3 of the Black Magic Act
Section 3 (1) of Black Magic Act
“No person shall either himself or through any other person commit, promote, propagate or practice or cause to promote, propagate or practice human sacrifice and other inhuman, evil and aghori practices and black magic mentioned or described in the Act ”
- The Court noticed that the seller couldn’t prove that Yantra really has the properties or qualities as stated in advertisement
- Display of so-called miracles for earning money is covered under the Black Magic Act The seller has wrongly claimed that after achieving Siddhi, special power, the ‘Baba’ has created Yantra and it leads to inference that the seller claims that the Baba has power of ‘black’ magic.
- Section 3(2) of the Act shows that abetment of such propaganda is also an offence.In this background, the Court held TV channels, which telecast such advertisement also liable under Section 3 of the Black Magic Act
- Court observed that Due to this superstitious approach all catagories of persons , rich and poor, educated and uneducated are being exploited by so-called Babas by selling articles in the name of Yantra, Ganda etc T.V Channels have Duty to Develop Scientific Temper
- Court Ordered the State Government to see that the telecast of such advertisement on TV channels is stopped immediately Telemart Shopping Network Pvt. Ltd.,/Seller giving this kind of acts would amount to cheating , need to be prevented.
Ref. –High Court of Bombay
Rajendra v. UOI and others
Decided on 05th January2020