Court seeks report on gutka ban enforcement by states

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed Health Secretaries of the states and Union Territories (UTs) to file compliance report on implementation of ban on sale and manufacture of gutka and pan masala containing tobacco.

A bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi asked the Health Secretaries of 23 States and five UTs, which have framed rules on gutka ban, to file their affidavits within four weeks.

The court passed the order after the Centre submitted that gutka is being manufactured and sold in these states, including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, in violation of law and the rules are not being properly implemented by the state authorities.

The ban on gutka came into force in UP from April 1. Sale and manufacture of gutka has been banned in Maharashtra and Delhi since July 2012 and September 2012 respectively.

The court has posted the matter for further hearing on May 3.

Earlier, the apex court had issued notice to the Centre on a plea for complete ban on manufacture and sale of gutka, pan masala and other tobacco products in the country.

The court had sought the government’s reply on the plea by NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation seeking its direction to the Centre to impose the ban effectively.PTI



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