Soon, advertisements promoting fairness creams, health drinks claiming improvement in height of children and products promoting anti ageing remedies, could be banned and attract a severe punishment as the government has finalised Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) (Amendment) Bill, 2020. One who would be found to violate the rule, could be punished with imprisonment upto five years.
The Bill, finalized by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, increases the number of diseases and disorders covered under the Act.
The draft legislation bans advertisements of products and magic remedies which claim to cure diseases and disorders like AIDS, diabetes, deafness and low vision. This list has been increased from 54 to 78.Under Section 7 of the Act, the first conviction is punishable with imprisonment of up to six months or fine or both; and a subsequent conviction can result in imprisonment of up to a year or fine, or both.
The amendment proposes to increase the penalties. For the first conviction, the proposed punishment is imprisonment of up to two years and fine up to Rs 10 lakh. For subsequent conviction, imprisonment may extend to five years with a fine of up to Rs 50 lakh.