No coercive action against tobacco manufacturers, sellers: Court

New Delhi, July 7 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Tuesday restrained the state government from taki ng any coercive action against three tobacco manufacturers till July 16.

Hearing a bunch of pleas filed by tobacco manufacturers challenging the ban on sale of chewable tobacco in the national capital, Justice V.P. Vaish granted protection to the manufacturers on the basis of similar order passed by him earlier in few matters, and also issued notice to Delhi government’s food safety commissioner.

The three companies – Shivam Betelnut Pvt. Ltd., Mahalaxmidevi Flavours Pvt. Ltd. and Rajat Industries Pvt. Ltd. – had moved the court, seeking parity with other companies who got relief from the court on the same issue. On April 8, the high court had restrained the government from taking any action against sellers and man ufacturers.

The Delhi government has banned all forms of chewable tobacco – including gutkha, khaini and zarda – in the national capital. It had on March 30 issued an otification prohibiting manufacture, storage, distribution or sale of tobacco which is either flavoured, scented or mixed with any additive.

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