Medicament Or Cosmetic – Telangana HC Upholds Assessee's View On Classification Of Certain Ayurvedic Products As Medicaments

Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan


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The Telangana High Court has held that the products Navaratan Oil, Gold Turmeric Ayurvedic Cream, Boroplus Antiseptic Cream, Boroplus Prickly Heat Powder and Sonachandi Chavanprash, are medicaments...
India Food, Drugs, Healthcare, Life Sciences
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The Telangana High Court has held that the products Navaratan Oil, Gold Turmeric Ayurvedic Cream, Boroplus Antiseptic Cream, Boroplus Prickly Heat Powder and Sonachandi Chavanprash, are medicaments (drugs) and not cosmetics under the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act, 1957.

The High Court in this regard rejected the Revenue Department's appeals against the order passed by the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal, in respect of three products - Sonachandi Chavanprash, Boroplus Antiseptic Cream and Boroplus Prickly Heat Powder. With respect to the other two products - Navaratan Oil and Gold Turmeric Ayurvedic Cream, the Court allowed the assessee's appeals, thus holding the products to be covered as medicaments under Entry 37 of the First Schedule to the Act. The assessee was represented by Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan Attorneys here.

Detailed observations including the findings of the High Court in respect of each of the specified products are summarised below:

Himani Sonachandi Chavanprash

  • Product, as per its wrapper, is made of around fifty-two rare herbs and minerals along with the powder of gold, silver and saffron
  • Wrapper also reflects the product's benefit like improves eyesight and complexion, builds immunity, etc.
  • Product is referred in the books and texts used by the Vaids in Ayurvedic discipline
  • License obtained under Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 for its manufacture
  • Product is only edible and cannot be used externally while cosmetics do not include products which are edible – Definition of 'cosmetic' and 'drugs' under Drugs & Cosmetics Act, relied upon
  • No documentary proof, material, literature or text produced by Department for classification under cosmetics

Himani Boroplus Antiseptic Cream

  • Name itself denotes that the product is no ordinary or cosmetic cream, rather a cream having antiseptic composition
  • Product not a cream or lotion with medicated composition; rather, a fully medicated product in the form of a cream
  • Percentage of ayurvedic product with medicinal value predominant in the cream
  • Product not capable of being used as cosmetic or toiletry product but has curative and healing Ayurvedic ointment
  • It is prescribed for dry skin diseases, cuts, burns, minor skin burns, wounds, chapped skins, furuncle impetigo and intertrigo
  • No material produced by Department that the product does not have medicinal value

Himani Boroplus Prickly Heat Powder

  • Product contains medicinal ingredients similar to Nycil, such as zinc oxide, boric acid, and additionally has salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid
  • Combination of these ingredients imbues the product with a distinct therapeutic quality not commonly found in ordinary cosmetics
  • Product's ability to relieve discomfort, promote healing and protect skin from further damage aligns it more closely with medicinal products
  • Product also manufactured under a drug license and unlike Nycil Prickly Heat Powder, has predominant medicinal elements
  • Public perceives product as medicinal or Ayurvedic product, rather than mere cosmetics

Himani Navaratan Oil

  • Product manufactured under license given as an ayurvedic drug under the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, based on its composition and reference to Ayurvedic texts
  • Enough literature and materials in respect of its curing capacity was made available
  • Product never sold in the market as hair oil and is not 'medicated goods'

Himani Gold Turmeric Ayurvedic Cream

  • Product marketed as Ayurvedic medicine, claiming it to be highly effective for curing cracked skins, pimples, boils etc.
  • Licensed as an ayurvedic drug by the Drug Controller, based on its composition which are from the Ayurvedic texts
  • No claim on wrapper that the product could enhance complexion or fairness

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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