KATHMANDU, Feb 26: The Supreme Court (SC) on Sunday issued an interim order prohibiting the advertisement of alcoholic beverages by media houses.
A single bench of Justice Nahakul Subedi issued the mandamus order for effective implementation of the laws that prohibit advertising the alcoholic beverage in media. The apex court has also ordered the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers to form a monitoring committee led by the office’s secretary.
Likewise, the SC has also asked the Advertisement Board and Press Council to cross check the implementation of the provision and to report to the apex judicial institution in the next two months. The SC issued the order in response to a petition filed by Advocate Jaya Prasad Poudel on behalf of the Forum for Protection of Consumer Rights Nepal.
The Public Health Service Act 2018 has barred the production, distribution and publication of advertisement related to alcohol, cigarette and tobacco-related products. It has talked on prohibiting dissemination of information materials that lure the users and cause serious adverse impacts on mental and physical health. The law has defined the media promotion of these demerit goods as a regulatory offense.
Apart from a number of legal provisions, the Advertisement Board has also enforced a code of conduct on not promoting the goods that pose threat to the public health. However, in many cases, the rules are found violated.
Jyoti Baniya, a consumer rights activist, said the SC’s order could help protect the people’s fundamental right to remain safe from using harmful goods.