Court suspends action against pan masala company for publicity

If a product is absent from the market, it is unlikely to come back: judge

A Delhi court has suspended a notice issued to a pan masala company regarding alternative advertising of its products.

Additional Sessions Judge Rajinder Singh said in his order that if during the prosecution the publicity is stopped “it will result in loss of income as well as goodwill which will be irreparable”.

The case concerns a notice issued to Dilbaag Pan Masala by the General Directorate of Health Services (DGHS) for advertising tobacco products through a fence over Dabri in 2018, which, according to her, was in violation of the 2003 Law on Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products. .

The judge, in his order, authorized the company to continue selling its pan masala according to the law, stating: “If a manufacturer’s product is absent from the market for a period of time, it is unlikely that the said product come back. “

According to records, the company sells pan masala under the brand name Dilbagh, among other established products of the Dilbagh brand. On April 25, he received a notice from the DGHS stating that the company was engaging in surrogate or indirect advertising for Dilbagh and gutkha tobacco products in violation of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (ban Advertising and Trade and Commerce Regulation, Production, Supply and Distribution Act 2003 (COTPA).

However, the company responded in writing that COTPA does not apply to the product in question. He said that advertising sales, manufacturing, transportation, etc. of gutkha are banned nationwide, unless it is intended for export. He added that advertising for pan masala is not prohibited by law. “Dilbagh pan masala does not contain any prohibited substance in violation of any law and / or COTPA law,” he said.

During the proceedings, the DGHS claimed that the advertisement in question was an indirect advertisement for the promotion of the Dilbagh gutkha brand / products. He said the company, while promoting Dilbagh products, had set up a large palisade at the Dabri Flyover for the “Khatu Shyam Katha” event and community wedding function to be held at Dabri Palam Road.

The company disputed that its pan masala was 100% tobacco-free and that there was no reason to substitute advertising for a product it cannot sell. To this, the DGHS claimed that as a rule, tobacco sachets are also sold with pan masala sachets.

“The plaintiff can carry out its advertising campaign concerning the product in question until the final elimination of the lawsuit,” noted Mr. Singh.

The company had asked the court for a permanent injunction prohibiting the DGHS from directly or indirectly interfering in the business of its products and requested 5 lakh in damages.

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