In a significant and vital ruling, the Bombay High Court has held that TV channels or actors should not propagate advertisements that sell items like ‘hanuman chalisa yantra’ with claims like such items could enhance and change human lives.
Hon’ble High Court further held that if any actor or TV channel is propagating such products, they will be prosecuted for cheating and under the provisions of the Black Magic Act.
The Division Bench of Bombay High Court comprising Hon’ble Justice Tanaji Nalawade and Hon’ble Justice Mukund Sewlikar stated that every person has to develop a scientific temperament. The Bench also stated that reform and inquiry spirit need to be read into the Black Magic Act.
According to the Hon’ble Judges, even though primary education is available to everyone in the country, the spirit of enquiry, reform and scientific temperament is not yet developed. The Bench further noted that even educated people are attracted to Black Magic and mantra-tantra.
Such a temperament has resulted in exploitation of the gullible and common man by so-called Babas, who sell hordes of articles by giving them names like Ganda, Yantra etc. which claim to possess miraculous powers added the Bench.
In the instant petition, the petitioner prayed the Court to ban telecasts of such advertisements and claimed that the advertisements were illegal and were violating provisions of the Black Magic Act.
Actors like Mukesh Khanna, Ronit Roy, Manoj Kumar and Anup Jalota were also included as respondents. The Court singled out ads that showed Hanuman Chalisa Yantra which advertisers claimed had supernatural powers and would bring prosperity to the buyer.
The Bench remarked that extracting money from the gullible by selling articles like Hanuman Chalisa Yantra would be covered under the Black Magic Act. As the advertisers claim that the ‘yantra’ is miraculous, extraordinary and supernatural, the Court opined that the seller could not prove such a claim.
Hon’ble Court directed the State government and Union of India to create cells to ensure that no such advertisements are telecast on TV channels.
Title: Rajendra vs Union of India & Ors
Case No.: CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION NO. 469 OF 2015
Date of Order:05.01.2021
Coram: Hon’ble Justice Tanaji Nalawade and Hon’ble Justice Mukund Sewlikar