Gutka ban: HC Circuit Bench quashes interim plea

Gutka ban: HC Circuit Bench quashes interim plea

The High Court Circuit Bench, Dharwad upheld the State government’s ban on gutka by quashing an interim plea filed by gutka companies on Tuesday.

An interim plea had been filed by Ghodawat Pan Masala and three other gutka manufacturing companies, which challenged the State government’s order to impose a ban on the sale and manufacture of gutka in State.

The plea had also appealed to the Circuit Bench, asking for a stay on the ban notification issued by the Food Safety Commissioner. The Circuit Bench, which heard the case, had reserved judgement for June 11.

Supports ban

On Tuesday, the single bench headed by Justice B S Patil, in its pronouncement, said that as per the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, the State Government has the right to impose a ban on items containing tobacco and nicotine.

This Act is implemented since August 5, 2011, and the ban has been in force since then, he said. Hence, the notification issued by the Food Safety Commissioner is found to be well within the legal framework.

The judge also observed that a few non-governmental organisations (NGOs) had appealed to Circuit Bench, to ban gutka because of its hazardous impact on society — especially the youth. “Thereby, the State government has taken a wise decision of banning gutkha,” the judge added.

The judge also stated that the Supreme Court has directed all 25 states and three union territories to impose a ban on gutka and pan masala products.

Advocate General Raviverma Kumar pleaded in favour of the State government.

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