The Bombay High Court held that TV ads of any article representing it as miraculous and supernatural is illegal. It said that television channels which telecast such advertisements will be liable under the Black Magic Act.
The Bench of Justices TV Nalawade and MG Sewlikar passed the order in a plea filed by one Rajendra Ambhore seeking reliefs to prevent advertisements on TV channels from promoting sale of articles like the Hanuman Chalisa Yantra.
“The propagation for sale by advertisement of any article by giving it name as Yantra or otherwise, by attaching the name of any God to such article, including the name of Lord Hanuman or any Baba with representation that these articles have special miraculous and supernatural properties/qualities and making representation that these articles will help human being to become happy, to make progress in business, to make progress in profession, to make advancement in career, to make improvement in performance in education, to get recovery from any disease etc., is illegal,” the Court declared in its order. “Telecast of advertisement which propagates such articles is also illegal.”
Moreover, the Court held that the definition of propagation shows that advertisement of present nature is covered by the definition. “Section 3 of the Black Magic Act prohibits not only commission of act of black magic, evil practices etc., but also propagation, promotion of such practices and magic. Section 3(2) of this Act, shows that abetment such propaganda is also an offence. Thus TV channels, which telecast such advertisement also become liable under Section 3 of the Black Magic Act.”
The Court observed that even many educated and highly educated persons get attracted to things like mantra-tantra, black magic. “Due to this superstitious approach of rich and poor, the educated and uneducated persons are being exploited by so-called Babas by selling articles by giving them names like Yantra, Ganda etc.”
The Bench pointed out that companies like the respondent, Telemart Shopping Network Pvt Ltd, may change the names of the company/name of God/name of Baba to continue their business, if they are only prevented from selling such articles under one particular name.
To ensure that the prevention of the prohibited act becomes effective, the Court suggested that state government and vigilance officers under the Act of 2013 should register crimes by giving reports against the persons making such advertisements.