Indian court outlaws selling of Pakistani Rooh Afza

The Delhi High Court in India ordered Amazon to remove Pakistan-made Rooh Afza from its local platform.


The order came following the petition filed by the Indian maker of the popular drink, Hamdard National Foundation, in which it contended that the e-commerce platform was selling Rooh Afza made in Pakistan on its platform.

Rooh Afza was first presented by Hakim Hafiz Abdul Majeed in Delhi. However, after the partition of Indo-Pak, her elder son settled in India and the younger in Pakistan.

Hamdard National Foundation owns Rooh Afza in India, while Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf) has the rights over the drink in Pakistan.

The high court in its Wednesday order said, “‘Rooh Afza’ is a product which has been consumed by the Indian public for more than a century now, and its quality standards have to comply with the applicable regulations prescribed by the Food Safety and Standards Act and Legal Metrology Act.”

The court questioned how an imported product was sold on Amazon without full disclosure of the manufacturer’s particulars.

“The listings of infringing ‘ROOH AFZA’ products on the website not originating from the Plaintiffs (Hamdard National Foundation) shall be removed within 48 hours,” said the court in its Wednesday order.

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The petition by Hamdard National Foundation and Hamdard Laboratories India said that it found various brands selling Rooh Afza on Amazon that were illegal.

He added that some sellers removed the products after receiving legal notices, but recently the company found a seller selling Rooh Afza bottles made in Pakistan.

In the September 5 order, the court said that when one clicks on the “Visit the Hamdard store” link, provided beside the list of Golden Leaf products. — the seller of imported Rooh Afza on Amazon – the consumer is taken to the webpage of Hamdard Laboratories India.

“Thus, any consumer or user on the platform is likely to confuse the ‘ROOH AFZA’ product originating from Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf), Pakistan as being connected or originating from the Plaintiffs..,” said the court.

The bench said that Amazon, as an intermediary, had an obligation to disclose the names of vendors and their contact information with product lists.

The Court directed the e-commerce platform to file an affidavit stating whether such details are mentioned on Rooh Afza’s product lists, invoices, and product labels.

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