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Ban on tobacco products: HC says interim stay to continue

Ban on tobacco products: HC says interim stay to continue
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A Bench of Justice V P Vaish after partially hearing the arguments of a tobacco manufacturer said the interim order of April 8 will continue and posted the matter for September 8 for further hearing.
During the brief hearing, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for Sugandhi Snuff’s said that March 25 notification by the AAP government, banning sale, purchase and storage of all forms of chewable tobacco including “gutkha, <g data-gr-id="29">khaini</g> and <g data-gr-id="30">zarda</g>” in the national Capital was without application of mind. 

“Only Union government has the power to exercise control under Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA) regarding tobacco products,” he said, adding that the notification was issued without application of mind and was not in consonance with the <g data-gr-id="34">COTPA</g>.

Singhvi said the state government has no power to issue such a notification under the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA) as the Act does not seek to cover tobacco products which <g data-gr-id="25">comes</g> under COTPA.

On August 3, the court had refrained itself from vacating the order restraining the Delhi government from taking any coercive measures against the sale of chewable tobacco products in <g data-gr-id="24">national</g> capital.
Earlier in April, the High Court had issued <g data-gr-id="33">notice</g> to the Delhi government seeking its response on Sugandhi Snuff’s plea seeking quashing of the March 25 notification. 

Later, a bunch of petitions were filed by other tobacco manufacturers, retailers and stockists challenging the notification. However, some of them were disposed of by the court saying the order which would be passed in Sugandhi Snuff’s plea will binding on all.

The counsels for tobacco manufacturers had earlier argued that the state government has no power to issue such a notification under the FSSA Act and it deserved to be quashed. 
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