High Court quashes 85% pictorial warning rule on tobacco products

High Court quashes 85% pictorial warning rule on tobacco products

The High Court of Karnataka on Friday quashed the 85% pictorial warning rule mandated by the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Rules, 2014. Cigarette manufacturers in India can now continue to keep 40% display area for pictorial warnings on tobacco products.

Complying with the directions from the Supreme Court, a division bench of Justices B S Patil and B V Nagarathna heard a batch of petitions filed by various tobacco manufacturing companies from across the country, challenging 85% pictorial health warning on tobacco products.

The bench upheld the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2008, which provides for 40% pictorial warning on tobacco products. The court also directed the Centre to undertake the exercise afresh in accordance with law.

The order stated that though some petitioners have challenged the 2008 and the 2014 Rules, they have not been able to demonstrate how the 2008 Rules that have been in operation over the last eight years were illegal.

The order also stated that it was not for the court to decide which type of warning has to be permitted.

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