The Delhi High Court today stayed an order of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) directing Hero Motocorp to take off air its scooter commercial starring actors Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru also issued notice to and sought responses of the ministries of Information and Broadcasting and Consumer Affairs and ASCI by the next date of hearing on March 17.
The court stayed the order on Hero Motocorp’s plea alleging that ASCI did not have the jurisdiction to pass the same.
During the proceedings, Central Government Standing Counsel Anurag Ahluwalia, appearing for the ministries, argued that ASCI is a statutory body which does have the jurisdiction to pass the order.
He also contended that the petition is premature and added that an inter-ministerial committee will be looking into the matter.
ASCI in its order of November 27 had directed Hero to take off air its commercial saying depicting visuals of people playing soccer on scooters in a residential area “shows a dangerous practice”.
The order had come on a complaint lodged with ASCI against the commercial.
ASCI had also said that the cautionary message flashed under the commercial launched on October 12, 2014, was of a font which was not easily visible.
Hero in its plea has refuted the view of ASCI and said that the cautionary message was clearly visible.
It has contended that its commercial complied with the code regarding advertisements and has sought orders to the Centre to not give effect to or act upon ASCI’s order.
The petition has also said that the order communicated to Hero is “cryptic” and does not give any further reasons for taking the commercial off-air and has also sought setting aside of ASCI’s decision.