A Public Interest Litigation has been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking a total ban on the advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products in any form. The petition alleges that the respondent – a company engaged in the manufacturing and marketing of tobacco products under the name of MAHAK group is involved in activities such as surrogate advertisements, tax evasion, pollution, employing children under the age of fourteen years, not paying minimum wages to its workers.
It has also been contended in the petition that the respondent company is advertising its product – ‘chaini khaini’ in such a manner that gives the general public an impression, that it is a herbal product and has health benefits. Also, the packaging of the tobacco product carries no statutory warning or necessary photos that is in complete violation of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003.
The petition filed through advocates, Gaurav Kumar and Vaibhav Gupta seeks directions for the constitution of the special investigation team to probe into the alleged irregularities of the Respondent company.
The division bench comprising of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to the Central Government, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, the Delhi, the tobacco company and other relevant parties mentioned in the petition.
The matter has been put up for further hearing on 11th March 2020.