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Evolve policy to curb godmen: SC
September 13, 2006 01:01 IST
A Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Kailash Ghambhir, while asking the Solicitor General G E Vahanvathi to evolve a suitable policy on restraining the media from carrying out such advertisements, however, refused to pass any orders against the Fourth Estate.
"How can we pass any directions against the media? If we do so we will be accused of gagging the press," Justice Jain observed, when the petitioner's advocate Richa Kapoor sought a direction to the media against publishing or telecasting such advertisements.
A public interest litigation filed in this regard complained that there has been a spurt in the activities of tantriks and self-styled godmen promising mystical and magical cures for people suffering from ailments.
The so-called tantriks and godmen were not only extorting huge money from the gullible victims but were also sexually exploiting girls and married women, it was alleged in the petition.
It complained that such vested interests were using the print and electronic media to lure the public by carrying out publicity blitzkrieg of their claims of magical and mystical cures.
Central Bureau of Investigation counsel Harish Gulati told the court that the agency could not act in the matter as enforcement of the Drugs and Magical Remedies (Prohibition) Act fell under the purview of the local police.
When the petitioner's counsel persisted with the plea that an order be passed to restrain the media from publishing the advertisements, Justice Ghambir asked,"How can we pass an order when the problem is spread over the entire country?"
The Bench then asked the Solicitor General to come out with an "appropriate national policy" to curb the menace and posted the matter for further hearing to October 30.