Bombay HC refuses to entertain petition by Jain trusts seeking ban on non-veg food advertisements

The HC has granted the Jain trusts the liberty to file fresh petitions with better material.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Monday, September 26, 2022, 11:21 PM IST
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Bombay HC refuses to entertain plea seeking ban on ads of non-veg food | File

Mumbai: Observing that it’s a matter of choice whether to see advertisements about non-vegetarian food on television and in newspapers, the Bombay High Court on Monday refused to entertain a petition filed by Jain religious charitable trusts seeking to ban such promotions. Instead, the court asked the petitioners why they are trying to encroach upon the rights of others, violating Article 19 of the Constitution.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Madhav Jamdar observed that the court can intervene only if citizens’ rights are infringed.

The public interest litigation (PIL) was filed by Shree Atma Kamal Labdhisurishwarji Jain Gyanrnandir Trust, Sheth Motisha Religious and Charitable Trust, Shri Vardhaman Parivar and businessman Jyotindra Ramniklal Shah.

Together, they had urged the court to direct the Maharashtra government to issue orders imposing a ban on advertisements of meat and meat products in print and electronic media. The petitioners claimed that their families, including their children, are forced to watch such promos. However, the petitioners’ advocate said they are not trying to challenge consumption.

Chief Justice Datta said that there are two ways of looking at it, one of them being “switching off (the television)”. Further, the court also said that imposing a ban falls within the domain of the legislature and it cannot frame such law/rules.

The Chief Justice said, “You are asking for a direction to the government to pass orders to ban something... The high court, in writ petition, cannot say what legislation can be enacted.”

The advocate then sought the court’s permission to amend the plea, which was refused by the bench. The petitioners were allowed to withdraw the plea, stating that they can file a “fresh petition with better material”.

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