LANGUAGE

Institute of Public Health v. Union of India

The Institute of Public Health (IPH) filed suit seeking to bar government officials from participating in the 12th Annual Asia-Pacific Tax Forum organized by the International Tax and Investment Center (ITIC).  IPH maintained that ITIC is an organization controlled by the tobacco industry and has an interest in promoting tax policies beneficial to this industry.  IPH alleged that government officials' participation in the Forum violates Art. 5.3 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and the FCTC Art. 5.3 Guidelines which obligate FCTC Parties to protect their public health policies from the commercial and other vested interest of the tobacco industry.  The court dismissed the petition finding that the FCTC Art. 5.3 only requires transparency of government and tobacco industry interactions on matters related to tobacco control or public health and does not prohibit government officials from participating in conferences sponsored by the tobacco industry.  IPH sought review of the court's dismissal of the petition, alleging that the court's order contained erroneous factual findings.  The court disposed of IPH's petition for review finding that IPH's observations cannot change the facts that were initially before the court.  The court however left open the opportunity for a future petitioner to set forth the correct position with regard to the erroneous facts.