Cops to keep vigil on violations of anti-tobacco law

Cops to keep vigil on violations of anti-tobacco law

Cops to keep vigil on violations of anti-tobacco law

Police stations across the City have been directed to keep a strict vigil against violations of the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade, Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003.

Police Commissioner Raghavendra H Auradkar has sent a circular to all police stations on May 13, asking them to include COTPA violations into beat book which keeps tabs on other crimes.

Dr Vishal Rao, a member of the Institute of Public Health, who approached the police commissioner, told Deccan Herald that the move was essential for better implementation of COTPA. 

Strict vigil

Vishal said that there was a government order even earlier as well. However, there is a need to put a system in place to keep strict vigil on violation of the law. Bangalore would be the first place to take such a decision. “When we approached him (Auradkar), he found it relevant,” Vishal Rao said.

Vishal also emphasised that though there were several laws to bring down smoking and use of tobacco products, ground-level work was essential. 

“Let’s take for example an education institution. If the police keep a track of violations in their beat book, it will be easy for them to catch the culprits,” he said. Penalty collected

A total fine of Rs 3,85,450 has been collected in the City in the months of January, February and March. Maximum cases were registered under the Section 4 of COTPA Act that prohibits smoking in public places. While 786 cases were registered in January, 887 in February and 612 were registered in March. 

Two cases were registered for the violation of COTPA Act Section 6(b) which mandates prohibition of sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of the educational institutions.