A division bench of the Rajasthan High Court issued a notice to the Centre on Wednesday asking why it has prohibited advertisements of condoms on television between 6 am and 10 pm.
The bench, led by Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog, sought a reply from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the government’s principal secretary and the health secretary. The court was hearing a petition filed by a nonprofit, which has called the order “arbitrary and meaningless”, Live Law reported.
On December 11, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued an advisory to television channels, saying such advertisements are inappropriate and indecent for viewing by children, and should be aired only between 10 pm and 6 am.
Global Alliance for Human Rights, which works for the welfare of HIV patients, had said that the order violates the Constitution and the government gave no “reasonable explanation” for it. Banning advertisements of condoms would hinder awareness programmes for safe sex, the petition said.
The society and the government have responsibility to ensure that teenagers get the necessary information about the physiological and emotional changes they go through, the petition said. Such information is essential so that they make informed choices, it said.
The nonprofit also wants the government to issue guidelines for advertising condoms.