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2 minutes read

Govt Proposes 5-year Jail Term, Rs 50 Lakh Fine For Ads Promoting Skin Fairness

| Published on February 6, 2020

Well, it seems like the Government has decided to set all the old scores. For years, India was ruled by Britishers, and even after independence, our country wasn’t able to overcome the obsession with white skin.

For almost 70 years, cosmetic brands have sold their skin fairness products by glorifying white skin. Their ads bluntly show a young girl worried about the dark color of her skin, and suddenly she applies cream, and over the days, she gets a fairer skin.

Well, it is enough now. The government has proposed to amend the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954.

As per the draft bill prepared by the government, it could slap a fine of up to Rs 50 lakh and imprisonment up to five years for advertisements promoting pharmaceutical products for fairness of skin, deafness, improvement of height, hair loss or greying, obesity, among others.

Under the new draft of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) (Amendment) Bill, 2020, a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh and up to two years’ imprisonment has been proposed in the case of the first offence. In the case of a subsequent conviction, imprisonment may extend to five years and the fine, up to Rs 50 lakh.

In the current law, the first offence subjects to imprisonment up to six months, with or without a fine, and up to one year for a second-time conviction.

In the draft bill, the ministry has proposed to prohibit advertisements of medicines and products purported to cure “any” of the 78 diseases, disorders or conditions it has specified. The previous Act had 54 such diseases, disorders and conditions.

The ministry has decided to solicit suggestions, comments or objections from the public or stakeholders with regard to the said draft Bill. It may be forwarded within 45 days, says the ministry.


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