No govt sponsorship for pvt tobacco event: HC

Court order goes in favour of petitioners, tobacco board’s logo goes off event website.

sonal

Sonal Matharu | October 6, 2010



Following a court order, the Tobacco Board of India (TBI) has finally taken its logo off the website of a private tobacco promotional event which is being held in Bangalore.

Karnataka High Court passed an order on September 17 asking TBI, a department under the commerce and industry ministry, to abstain from participating in the three-day event called the Global Tobacco Networking Forum (GTNF), organised by Tobacco Reporter, a cigarettes and tobacco magazine for global tobacco industry.

A public interest litigation was filed by Institute of Public Health (IPH), Bangalore, after they spotted the logo of TBI under the sponsors’ list on the GTNF website. India became a signatory of World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in 2003. Under its guidelines no government body can partner with tobacco industry because of a conflict of interest between the tobacco industry and the public health programmes.

The Karnataka High Court bench comprising Justice Shailendra Kumar noted in its order, “The board (TBI) keeping company with them (cigarette manufacturers of leading brands across the world) itself may amount to conveying a message that the board is in league with such companies in promoting their products which is most undesirable.”

However, TBI’s logo appeared on the event website even after the court intervened. On October 1, IPH wrote an email to the event organisers asking them to follow the court order, following which, the logo was removed from the hospitality and sponsors segment two days before the event started.

“The court asked TBI to withdraw any kind of support, monetary and non-monetary, from the event. It also added that if TBI has already given money for the event, it should get it back,” said Upendra Bhojani, public health researcher, IPH.

Through RTI applications IPH found out that TBI is investing Rs 3,26,620 on the participants. GTNF is scheduled to be held from 4th to 8th October and will see participation from private tobacco companies.

Article 5.3 of the WHO convention states that the member countries must protect all public health policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry and that they should not accept, support or endorse partnerships with tobacco industry.

In India, over nine lakh people die of tobacco related illnesses a year and tobacco is the most preventable cause of most chronic diseases. In a country where over 57% of men and 11% of women consume some form of tobacco, it has been estimated that there will be one million deaths due to tobacco consumption.
 

Comments

 

Other News

Making sense of the ‘crisis of political representation’

Imprints of the Populist Time By Ranabir Samaddar Orient BlackSwan, 352 pages, Rs. 1105 The crisis of liberal democracy in the neoliberal world—marked by massive l

Budget: Highlights

Union minister of finance and corporate affairs Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2023-24 in Parliament on Wednesday. The highlights of the Budget are as follows: PART A     Per capita income has more than doubled to Rs 1.97 lakh in around

Budget presents vision for Amrit Kaal: A blueprint for empowered, inclusive economy

Union Budget 2023-24, presented by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Parliament on Wednesday, outlined the vision of Amrit Kaal which shall reflect an empowered and inclusive economy.  “We envision a prosperous and inclusive India, in which the fruits of development reach all regions an

Soumya Swaminathan to head M S Swaminathan Research Foundation

Former World Health Organisation (WHO) chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan takes charge as chairperson of M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) from February 1.   Founded by her father, the legendary agricultural scientist M S Swaminathan, MSSRF was set up to accelerate the use of m

m-Governance: Key to Digital India

The digital revolution is being led by India. Digital governance is a key component of the government's ambition to transform India into a society where everyone has access to the internet. It includes both M-governance and E-governance, which are major methods for the delivery of services via mobile devic

A sacred offering of the beauty of ‘Saundarya Lahari’ – in English

Saundarya Lahari: Wave of Beauty Translated from the Sanskrit by Mani Rao HarperCollins, 218 pages, Rs 399 ‘Saundarya Lahari’, usually ascribed to Adi Shankaracharya, has a unique status among the religious-spiritual works of Hinduism.

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter