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File compliance report on gutka ban or face contempt: SC to states

New Delhi, May 3, 2013, (PTI):
File photo.
Sending a stern message to states and Union Territories, the Supreme Court today warned them to file compliance report on gutka ban in their areas within six weeks or face its contempt proceedings.

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and Ranjana Desai pulled up the governments for their failure to file report within the stipulated time and said they will have to face consequences if they do not comply with its order within six weeks.

"We are giving clear warning to the governments. We would initiate suo motu contempt proceedings against them if they fail to file report on compliance of banning gutka products in their states. Those who do not file report shall do at their own peril," the bench said.

The bench had on April 3, had directed 23 states and 5 UTs, which have banned sale and manufacture of gutka products, to file compliance reports on the implementation of the ban. It had also sought response from other states as why they have not banned such products.

Granting last opportunity to state to file their report, the bench said, "We would make state counsel stand in the court for entire day if they fail to comply with our order."

Gutka, zarda, pan masala, bajjar and such other toxic and addictive forms of chewing tobacco are mandated to be banned by various states, as per Rules under the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations of 2011, made under the Food Safety and Standards Act.

The apex court was hearing a petition seeking ban on tobacco product in the country and preventing use of plastic sachet for any product.

Earlier, the bench had issued notices to municipal commissioners of Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Agra, Jaipur and Faridabad on its management and disposal of plastic waste saying that the quantity of such waste has become "frightening".

Centre had submitted that 15,342 tonnes plastic waste generated per day and 40 per cent of the total plastic waste generated per day remain uncollected and littered.

"On the basis of the survey conducted in 60 major cities, the total quantum of plastic waste generated in the country is estimated to be 15,342.46 tonnes per day and out of that 9,205 tonnes are recycled and rest 6,137 remain littered," the Centre had told the bench.

 

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