LANGUAGE

Mahesh Bhatt, et al. v. Union of India & Anr.

A well-known film director challenged the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare rules regarding tobacco products on television and in film.  The petitioner argued that the rule that, among other things, prohibits the display of tobacco products in films and television programs, is unconstitutional.  Kasturi and Sons (a Hindu newspaper in Madras) argued, among other things, that the rule requiring that brand names and logos of tobacco products be cropped in print and electronic media in certain circumstances is beyond the scope of the COTPA.  Noting that freedom of expression cannot be suppressed unless the situation is "pressing and the community interest is endangered," the Court held that the contended parts of the rule violated the Constitution and exceeded the power provided by COTPA to enact implementing rules.