SC claims Prickly Heat Powder is a cosmetic; face higher taxes | News from India

MUMBAI: The Supreme Court he kept that medicated talc Nycil, which is used to treat prickly heat, is a “cosmetic” and not a “medicine,” reports Lubna Kably. As cosmetics are taxed at a higher rate, both under previous indirect tax laws and under current GST arrangements, this means that the final consumer will pay a higher price.
This verdict comes a day after the Supreme Court handed down a favorable ruling in the medicated homeopathic hair oil case. Here, the SC had found that Aswini Homeo Arnica Hair Oil fits perfectly into the angles of the twins test which is both the common language test and the ingredients test. In this order, denounced by TOI on 5 May, the apical judge had also highlighted that another essential characteristic for a product to be qualified as a medicine is whether the preparation is essentially for therapeutic or prophylactic use (medicine) or only for treatment ( cosmetics).
In the Prickly Heat Powder case, SC dismissed the Nycil producers’ appeals against the orders from Kerala and Madras HC. The opening line of the order reads: “The question before this court (SC) has put the courts in a tricky pickle on several occasions – whether talcum powder is a medicine or a drug or a cosmetic, or in terms of statutes in question, medicated talcum powder?”
SC bench noted while Nycil contains medical ingredients, the Kerala General Sales Tax Act considered it appropriate to include shampoo, talcum powder and talcum powder in the classification relating to cosmetics. Similarly, Tamil Nadu’s tax laws have been changed to include talc, whether medicated or not, in the cosmetics classification. Therefore, he considered Nycil to be a cosmetic.


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