the amendment has proposed an increase in the penalties.
People in India face a prison sentence if they are caught selling remedies which claim to cure sexual problems. Many sellers flog their remedies by saying they have magical qualities.
Those who also sell remedies for fair skin, stammering, infertility, premature ageing and increasing brain capacity face jail.
This comes after the Health and Family Welfare Ministry proposed a draft amendment to the current Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements Act, 1954).
They proposed a jail sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to Rs. 50 Lakh (£54,000) for offenders.
The draft amendment has made several additions to the list of diseases, disorders and conditions covered in the Act.
The Act states that medicines, ‘magic remedies’ and products to cure any of the 78 mentioned should not be advertised.
This includes drugs or treatment for enhancing sexual performance, sexual impotence, premature ejaculation, spermatorrhoea, skin fairness, premature ageing, AIDS, memory improvement, height improvement in children and adults, size increase of sexual organ and duration of sexual performance.
It also lists premature greyness, stammering, infertility in women, menstrual disorders, rejuvenation, obesity and increase in brain capacity.
According to the Act, those who are convicted for the first time face up to six months in prison and/or a fine. A second conviction can lead to a one-year prison sentence as well as a fine.
However, the amendment has proposed an increase in the penalties.
If the amendment is passed, sellers of sexual problem remedies could face up to two years in prison and a fine up to Rs. 10 Lakh (£10,750) for the first conviction.
Another conviction may result in a five-year jail sentence and a Rs. 50 Lakh fine.
The Ministry has stated that the amendment is being made in order to keep up with the changing times and advancements in technology.
It has been decided to solicit suggestions/comments/objections from the public/stakeholders with regard to the suggested draft Bill.
Any suggestions, comments or objections must be forwarded within 45 days from the date of issue of this notice.
An expansion of the definition of an advertisement has also been proposed by the draft bill. It says:
“Any audio or visual publicity, representation, endorsement or pronouncement made by means of light, sound, smoke, gas, print, electronic media, Internet or website and includes any notice, circular, label, wrapper, invoice, banner, poster or such other documents.”