The Delhi High Court today issued notice on a PIL seeking action against a beverage company for putting up hoardings for promotion of an alcoholic drink across the national capital.
A Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh has issued notice to the Respondents including the Delhi Municipal Corporation and the company which goes by the name Pegasi Spirits Pvt. Ltd.
The development comes in a PIL filed by Advocate Dhruv Chawla, seeking enforcement of the Advertising Industry's Code of Ethics which designates "Advertisement promoting drugs, alcohol, cigarette or tobacco items" as negative advertisements.
The Delhi Outdoor Advertisement Policy, 2008 empowers the city agencies to take action, modify or remove any Advertising Device that contravene the Code, the plea states.
The plea also refers to directive principle stipulated under Article 47 of the Constitution which directs the State to endeavour to bring about prohibition of intoxicating drinks and drugs which are injurious to health.
It is further stated that the New Delhi Municipal Corporation has also erred in granting permission for putting up such hoardings across the city and the same amounts to dereliction of duty prescribed under the NDMC (Pasting of Bills and Advertisement) Bye-Laws, 1993.
It may be noted that prior to instituting the present proceedings, the Petitioner had filed a complaint before the Advertising Standard Council of India pursuant to which, the company modified its hoardings.
However, it is the case of the Petitioner that the hoardings continue to advertise the same brand, being an alcoholic beverage, and it is a clever attempt on part of the Respondent-company to circumvent the law.
"The Petitioner, by way of the present Public Interest Litigation seeks to set right the gross violations of the legal setup in the NCT region carried out by the relevant authorities. As a consequence of the said violations, the general public of the NCT region are consuming such advertisements as have been specifically banned by law makers thereby, sending out a wrong message that provisions of law can be circumvented through such illegal means, in addition to the impugned advertisements causing health hazards," the plea states.
Case Title: Dhruv Chawla v. GNCTD & Ors.