Home Entertainment Supreme Court dismisses suit against FDA ban on celebrity alcoholic advert

Supreme Court dismisses suit against FDA ban on celebrity alcoholic advert

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The Supreme Court has dismissed the suit by private citizen, Mark Darlington challenging the constitutionality of the FDA ban against celebrities endorsing and advertising alcoholic beverages.

The FDA in its guidelines for the Advertisement of Foods published on February 1, 2016 stipulates that “No well-known personality or professional shall be used in alcoholic beverage advertising.”

The authority explained that the guideline was necessary to prevent minors from being addicted to alcohol due to the influence of celebrities.

The FDA further noted that the ban was in adherence with a policy by the World Health Organisation( WHO), and also part of efforts to protect children and young ones from being lured into alcoholism.

Mark Darlington in his suit against the FDA directive was praying the Apex court to hold as unconstitutional the directive as it violated the right against discrimination as guaranteed by Article 17 of the 1992 Constitution.

But it a majority decision of 5-2 by the Supreme Court, the suit was dismissed on Wednesday, June 19. The court held that the directive by FDA was not unreasonable and excessive, adding that it didn’t contravene the provision of the constitution.

The full judgement will be made available on Friday, June 21.

Reliefs Sought:

(a) A declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Articles 17(1) and 17(2), which guarantee equality before the law and prohibit discrimination against persons on grounds of social or economic status, occupation, among others, Guideline 3.2.10 of the Guidelines for the Advertisement of Foods published by the 1st Defendant on February 1, 2016, which provides that “No well-known personality or professional shall be used in alcoholic beverage advertising,” is discriminatory, inconsistent with, and in contravention of Articles 17(1) and 17(2) of the 1992 Constitution, and thus unconstitutional.

(b) A declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Articles 17(1) and 17(2), Guideline 3.2.10 of the Guidelines for the Advertisement of Foods published by the 1st Defendant on February 1, 2016, which prohibits well-known personalities and professionals from advertising alcoholic products, is inconsistent with and in contravention of Articles 17(1) and 17(2) of the 1992 Constitution, which guarantee equality before the law and prohibit discrimination against persons on grounds of social or economic status, occupation, among others, and consequently null, void, and unenforceable.

(c) An order striking down Guideline 3.2.10 of the Guidelines for the Advertisement of Foods published by the 1st Defendant on February 1, 2016, as being inconsistent with and in contravention of the letter and spirit of the 1992 Constitution, and as such nullified.

(d) An order of perpetual injunction restraining the Defendants, their agents, servants, or assigns under the pretext of acting under Guideline 3.2.10 of the Guidelines for the Advertisement of Foods published by the 1st Defendant on February 1, 2016, from doing anything to prevent any well-known personality or professional from advertising alcoholic products.

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