State faces HC flak on tobacco ban

 The High Court lashed out at the State government on Wednesday for not banning tobacco and gutka products and asked whether it preferred public health or revenue.

Hearing a petition by the Cancer Patients’ Aid Association, the Division Bench comprising acting Chief Justice K Sreedhar Rao and Justice Abdul Nazeer flayed the government for its delay in filing its objections.

During the hearing, the government counsel sought more time to mention its stance and said it had consulted two departments in this regard.

The Division Bench adjourned the matter. The petitioner submitted that the Union government, under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, had framed certain rules in 2011, banning food items containing tobacco and nicotine.

“Under the rule, gutka and paan masala are classified as food items and should be prohibited,” the petitioners said.

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