SRINAGAR: The J&K High Court has declined to ban sale of loose cigarettes and other tobacco products in the state, saying it was for the government to take a decision on it.
Disposing of a Public Interest Litigation, the court’s division bench of Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey, however, directed the government to strictly enforce pictorial warning on the cigarette packets and other tobacco products.
“The prayer (for ban on sale of loose cigarettes) cannot be granted as it is the wisdom of the state authorities to decide as to impose a ban or not on the products,” the court said.
Regarding pictorial depiction of skull and cross bones and such other warning on the cigarette packets, the court directed the government to ensure that cigarette and tobacco products contain the warnings as per the guidelines issued by the government of India from time to time.
The PIL was filed by one Mohammad Altaf Dar of Budgam through his counsel Firdous Ahmad Parray.
“The ban on sale of loose cigarettes and others tobacco products will discourage youth who cannot afford to purchase full packet of cigarette or tobacco and once they are discouraged and make it difficult for them to purchase cigarettes, it will protect the young generation from getting involved in such kind of menace,” Dar had said.
On one side it violates the section 7 of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act 2003 as without warning and on other side it plays havoc with the health of the young people including school going children, he said.