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Refusal to ban cold drinks -5 Lakh cost

Recently, the Supreme Court in Umedsinh P Chavda vs Union Of India on 11 June 2020 where the petitioner claimed a total ban on the sale of soft drinks like thumbs up, coca-cola, and other soft drinks as they have a detrimental effect on the health of the public. The petitioner invoked Article 32 for this purpose and he claims to be a social worker. By issuing a writ of mandamus he directed the respondent no.1 to submit an analytical as well as scientific report of the substances or liquids used in the making of coca-cola and thumbs up. He further directed through the writ of mandamus for the production of the license of the sale being provided by a well-approved scientist for the sale of these soft beverages.


However, in this judgment, the court was of the opinion that the petitioner had no technical knowledge over the subject matter of the issue and the reasons that he stated had no substantial backings. Also, the petitioner's method of just targeting two soft drinks namely coca-cola and thumbs up was considered to be for extraneous reasons. The SC further held that the power to invoke a writ of mandamus under article 32, in this case, had been abused.


The SC finally came 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. The SC not only dismissed the petition but also issued an order which imposed exemplary costs on the petitioner. The quantification of the exemplary costs was Rs.5,00,000 on the petitioner. The petitioner is supposed to pay this amount within one month. It will be disbursed to the Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association. If the petitioner fails to comply with these directions, then the registry shall place an office report for directions.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Rudra Prasad is 4th-Year student of Law, who is currently pursuing Law from NMIMS Kirit. P. Mehta School of Law, Mumbai.

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