The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court has taken a stern view of broadcast advertisements promoting superstition and related content, saying that it is a crime to broadcast such advertisements and companies offering advertising to channels will have to face legal action.
During the hearing of a case on Tuesday, the High Court ordered the registration of a criminal case against four TV channels for broadcasting an advertisement promoting Hanuman Chalisa Yantra. The court believed that it promotes superstition among the public.
While hearing the case, the division bench of Justices T.V. Nalvade and M.G. Sevalikar said telecasting such advertisement was punishable under provisions of the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013.
The bench also said that Section 3 of the Black Magic Act not only prohibits magic, evil practices, but also acts to stop the propagation of such evil practices and black magic.
According to the Section 3 (2) of the Act, involvement in such activities also comes under the category of crime. Therefore, any TV channel that broadcasts this type of advertisement will be liable under Section 3.
The Aurangabad bench was hearing the matter on a petition by a teacher, Rajendra Ambhore. In the petition, Ambhore has complained about advertisements being aired on several channels, in which the device was promoted in the name of some deities and appealed to people to buy it for prosperity, better luck etc.
The court has directed the state government to create a special cell at the state level to stop such advertisements and ensure that no such advertisements are broadcast on any TV channel.
According to Ambhore, in March 2015, he came to know about advertisements promoting Hanuman Chalisa Yantra on at least four channels after which he demanded action against the advertising company, TV channels and actors.