Health for Millions v. Union of India & Ors.
Health for Millions v. Union of India & Ors., Nos. 5912-5913/2013, SLP(C) Nos. 413-414/2013, Supreme Court of India (2013).
- Jul 22, 2013
- Supreme Court of India, Civil Appellate Jurisdiction
Plaintiff Health for Millions
Defendant Union of India & Ors.
Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003
Type of Litigation
Action against Government to Advance the Public Interest
An individual or organization may sue their own government in order to advance or protect the public interest. For example, an NGO may sue the government claiming the government’s weak tobacco control laws violated their constitutional right to health.
Tobacco Control Topics
Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
Measures restricting any form of direct or indirect tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. (See FCTC Art. 13)
Right to Freedom of Expression
A violation of the right to expression, free speech or similar right to express oneself without limitation or censorship. The industry may claim that a regulation infringes on their right to communicate with customers and the public. Similarly, they may claim that mandated warnings infringe on their freedom to communicate as they desire.
Ultra Vires Regulation
Subsequent regulations exceed the scope of the originating law.
Type of Tobacco Product
The tobacco industry challenged rules implementing the advertising provisions of India's tobacco control law, particularly the restrictions on advertising at the point-of-sale and the definition of indirect advertising. In 2005 and 2006, the Bombay High Court ordered that implementation of the rules be stayed. Health for Millions, an NGO, challenged this decision, and, in July 2013, the Supreme Court of India found that there was not a sufficient reason for the earlier decisions staying the rules. The Court ordered the government to rigorously implement India's Tobacco Control Law and its rules. The legality of the rules, however, still is at issue in the Bombay High Court.