On 8 April 2015, the court stayed the notification and asked Delhi government not to take any coercive action against tobacco sellers
The Kejriwal-led Delhi government had on 25 March 2015 banned sale, purchase, storage and manufacturing of all forms of chewable tobacco. t
New Delhi : The Delhi government on Thursday sought vacation of a stay order granted to tobacco manufacturers against a ban imposed by the state government on manufacture, storage, distribution and sale of tobacco in various forms.
Senior lawyer Indira Jaising, appearing for the Delhi government, cited extreme urgency in the matter before Justice Manmohan who was hearing the case as the notification that had been stayed was operative only for a year and was set to expire on 25 March.
“We have been repeatedly approaching the court for vacation of stay because if the notification expires, the progress of the case till now will be lost,” she said.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for chewable tobacco manufacturer Sugandhi Snuff King opposed the ban and contested its validity.
“There is a comprehensive statute- Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, (COTPA), which deals with all aspects relating to chewable tobacco which is a pure tobacco product. In the presence of this special legislation, the Delhi government’s notification cannot operate,” Singhvi told the court.
He also submitted that since tobacco was not a food product, the state government was not empowered to issue such a notification under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
The Kejriwal-led Delhi government had on 25 March 2015 banned sale, purchase, storage and manufacturing of all forms of chewable tobacco including gutkha and pan masala containing tobacco.
On 8 April, the court stayed the notification and asked Delhi government not to take any coercive action against tobacco sellers such as Sugandhi Snuff King and S.K Tobacco Industries, which had moved the court seeking quashing of the notification.
The matter will be heard next on 11 March.