Advertisements on TV channels promoting or claiming that certain products have supernatural or miraculous properties are illegal, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court ruled on Tuesday.
The bench argued that such advertisements fall under the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013. It said the TV channels that telecast such advertisements are liable for punishment.
Additionally, the bench has directed the state government and Centre to create cells in Mumbai to monitor advertisements on TV channels, adding that it should ensure no such advertisements are telecasted with the authority of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995.
The ruling comes on a criminal writ plea filed by a 45-year-old teacher, Rajendra Ganpatrao Ambhore. On March of 2015, Ambhore came by advertisements on TV channels of the Hanuman Chalisa Yantra claiming to have supernatural properties. The advertisement also showed that it was prepared by one Baba Mangalnath, who was claimed to have been blessed by Lord Hanuman. Priced at Rs. 4,900, the advertisement also featured celebrities and singers who talked about their experience with the product, the plaintiff wrote in the plea.
The contention was that such advertisements would take advantage of people who are superstitious by nature and the plea sought action against TV channels that propagated such advertisements.