Country: Bangladesh

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UBINIG v. Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh [Bangladesh] [July 13, 2017]

Three non-governmental organizations challenged a public notice issued by National Tobacco Control Cell of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare permitting tobacco companies to print health warnings labels on the lower 50% of tobacco product packaging as an interim measure. Petitioners objected to the publication of the rule on procedural grounds. The Court concluded that the public notice was published without any lawful authority and, therefore, was of no legal effect.

There were three related civil petitions for leave to appeal the court's decision. However, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court found no merit in the first and second petitions and thus dismissed those. Regarding the third petition, no one appeared on behalf of the petitioner and the petition was dismissed for default. These dismissals are uploaded as 'Related Documents.'

While the initial petition was being considered, the National Tobacco Control Cell decided to withdraw the public notice, instead issuing a new notice requiring health warnings to be printed on the upper 50% of packaging beginning September 19, 2017. However, the industry challenged the rescission in the High Court, preventing it from being implemented as scheduled.

Voyage of Discovery [Bangladesh] [February 07, 2000]

The Court consolidated two cases on tobacco advertising. In the first case, the petitioner sued the government of Bangladesh for failure to adequately enforce a statutory warning to disclose tobacco's effects on health. The second case involved the use of a touring luxury yacht by British American Tobacco (BAT) to advertise its cigarettes.  Invoking the right to life and liberty guaranteed by the Constitution of Bangladesh, the petitioner urged the court to declare advertisement of tobacco products illegal.  In its opinion, the Court recognized the harms of smoking and agreed with petitioners that the BAT yacht constituted an “advertisement” and that, more broadly, the use of any advertisement for cigarettes without appropriate health warnings offended the constitutional right to life.  The Court, among other actions, directed the government to take steps to restrict tobacco production and smoking in public and prohibited certain advertising and promotion of tobacco products.