Udayavni Special

SC dismisses PIL seeking ban on Coca-Cola, Thumbs Up; slaps Rs 5 lakh fine on petitioner


PTI, Jun 12, 2020, 8:42 AM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday, June 11 dismissed a PIL filed by a ‘social worker’ seeking ban on the sale and use of Coca Cola and Thumbs up on the ground that these soft beverages are detrimental to health, saying the petition has been filed for extraneous reasons.

The top court rejected the petition and imposed an exemplary cost of Rs five lakh on the petitioner and said his counsel has failed to disclose “why two specific brands, in particular, are chosen to be the target of the proceedings and what the source of his assertions.”

It said that the amount would be deposited within one month with the apex court registry and disbursed to SCAORA (Supreme Court Advocates-on Record Association).

A bench headed by Justices D Y Chandrachud said that petitioner, Umedsinh P Chavda, through his petition has invoked the jurisdiction of the court under Article 32 of the Constitution, which appears to be an abuse of the process of law.

“The petitioner claims to be a ‘social worker’. The affidavit in support of the petition states that the contents of the petition are true to the knowledge and belief of the petitioner. The petition has been filed without the petitioner having any technical knowledge on the subject. The source of his assertions has not been substantiated,” the bench, also comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi, said.

The top court said that after hearing the counsel for the petitioner, it has come to the conclusion that the invocation of the jurisdiction under Article 32 is not a bona fide recourse to the jurisdiction in public interest litigation.

“Consequently, besides dismissing the petition an order directing the imposition of exemplary costs is necessary. We accordingly dismiss the petition and impose costs quantified at Rs 5, 00,000 on the petitioner. The costs imposed shall be deposited in the Registry within one month and shall be disbursed to the Supreme Court Advocates-on Record Association (SCAORA),” the bench said.

Besides seeking a ban on the sale and use of Coco-Cola and Thumbs Up, the PIL filed by Chavda also sought issuing of notification by the government apprising people at large not to drink and use it, as the same is detrimental to the cause of health.

The PIL also sought a direction to Centre to submit a complete analytical report and scientific approval by scientists in providing license of sale and use of liquids like Coco-Cola and Thumbs Up.

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