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HC ask Delhi govt to ban sale of tobacco products in two weeks
New Delhi | Wednesday, Aug 22 2012 IST
 
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The Delhi High Court today directed the city government to examine and decide in two weeks a plea to ban the sale of tobacco products in the national Capital. While disposing of a petition filed by Doctors For You, a registered society, which sought court's intervention to ban the tobacco products in the city, a bench comprising Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw today asked the Delhi Government to examine the issue and decide within two weeks to ban tobacco products. The bench, meanwhile, asked the petitioner NGO to approach the Delhi Government's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Citing a media report of July 31, in which a Delhi minister had said the government should ban sale of tobacco products here, the bench asked the state to consider the plea as representation and decide the same in two weeks.

The court's order came after Delhi government's Standing Counsel Najmi Waziri said that steps have been taken by the state on the issue and if a representation is made to it, it would consider the same. Appearing for the Centre, Additional Solicitor General Rajiv Mehra told the bench that the government has written letters to various states to implement the Food Safety and Standards Act and some states have already banned the sale of tobacco products, invoking it. The bench was hearing the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) which sought to ban tobacco products in the wake of a spurt in oral and lung cancer in the city. The petitioners contended that eight states have banned the sale of gutka in their respective territories, but the Delhi government is yet to take any action. According to the petition, the states which have already banned gutka and similar products are Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Haryana, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Goa. The petitioner contended that under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, the Centre framed a regulation in 2011 empowering the state's Food Safety Commissioner to ban tobacco products but Delhi being the capital has not set example for other states to follow it. The Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations, 2011 prescribe that gutka and other forms of chewing tobacco products such as zarda, pan masala, gul and bajjar which are toxic and addictive, should be banned from being sold in the state, the NGO said. UNI SNG RKM1838 NNNN

-- (UNI) -- 22DI21.xml

 

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