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TV ads promoting superstition illegal, liable to face action: Bombay HC

The court also stated that even highly educated persons get attracted to things like mantra-tantra, black magic. Due to this superstitious approach of the rich and poor, educated and uneducated persons, they are being exploited by so-called babas.

TV ads promoting superstition illegal, liable to face action: Bombay HC
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On January 5, the Bombay High Court (HC) directed the Maharashtra government to take action against TV channels and actors promoting superstitious materials that promise to change the lives of human beings for the better.

The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court court declared that such advertisements are illegal and TV channels are liable for punishment under the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013. 

However, the bench said Section 3 of the Black Magic Act prohibits not only the act of black magic, evil practices, etc., but also propagation and promotion of such practices and magic. Under Section 3(2) of the Act, abetment of such activities is also an offence.

According to reports, the HC has ordered the state government to register offences against four TV channels for telecasting an advertisement promoting “Hanuman chalisa yantra.”

The court also said that the state government is required to ensure the telecast of such advertisements on TV channels is stopped immediately in coordination with authority under Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995.

The division bench of justices TV Nalawade and MG Sewlikar also told the Central government that if such authority is not in place, it needs to appoint the same within one month.

The High Court was hearing a petition filed by a teacher who had objected to advertisements promoting devices that claimed to possess miraculous supernatural powers being telecast on TV channels.

Telemart Shopping Network Pvt Ltd, claimed that the Black Magic Act and The Television Network Act were not applicable in the present matter and could have sought remedies provided under the Consumer Protection Act. The channel, through advocate Sachin Sarda, submitted that the rituals mentioned in the advertisement are normal Hindu practices and they cannot be called as a part of magic.

The court also stated that even highly educated persons get attracted to things like mantra-tantra, black magic. Due to this superstitious approach of the rich and poor, educated and uneducated persons, they are being exploited by so-called babas. Moreover, the HC directed the state government and Centre to create cells in Mumbai to see that no such advertisements are telecast on TV channels by separate advertisement or in the name of programmes in Maharashtra.

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