HC directive to DU on sale of tobacco products near colleges

The Delhi HC on Wednesday directed the Delhi University to issue directions to its colleges to appoint nodal officers to ensure no outlet is found selling tobacco products in a radius of 100 yards of the educational institutions.

Last Updated: Mar 30, 2011, 19:22 PM IST

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday
directed the Delhi University to issue directions to its
colleges to appoint nodal officers to ensure no outlet is
found selling tobacco products in a radius of 100 yards of the
educational institutions.

The court also directed the Commissioner of Police to
comply with its earlier order to initiate a departmental
inquiry against the concerned police officers if any outlet
was found selling tobacco products near any school or college.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice
Sanjiv Khanna issued notice to the DU and sought a reply by
May 18 while directing the University to "issue direction to
its colleges to appoint nodal officers in ten days for
compliance with its previous order".

"The nodal officer may intimate area SHOs and
concerned DCPs if anyone sells the tobacco in violation of the
Control of Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) and the police to take
action who don`t obey the law," said the bench.

"The Commissioner of Police is directed to take
appropriate steps against the seller of tobacco products
within the prohibitory area," the court said.

"We would like the Commissioner of Police to take
action in compliance with the provisions of the Act in larger
public interest. The Commissioner shall collect action taken
report report from the task force once in a week and may
depute an officer to analyse the reports. If required, more
takes forces to be constituted," the bench directed.

To create awareness among the sellers about the law as
well as the students about the diseases caused by tobacco
consumption, the court directed the Chief Secretary of Delhi
in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
to give wider publicity in the print and electronic media.

"The Chief Secretary, in consultation with the
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, is directed to consult
the NGOs to create awareness about the consumption of tobacco
and the diseases caused by it," the court said.

The order came after the petitioner NGO informed the
bench that it had recently conducted a survey in 1023 out of
5106 total number of schools and 28 out of 323colleges under
the Delhi University and found outlets selling tobacco near
the educational institutions.

The Bench was hearing a PIL filed by the NGO World
Lung Foundation alleging COTPA was not implemented in true
spirit.
The Act covers prohibition of advertisement and
regulation of trade and commerce, production, supply and
distribution of tobacco products, the NGO said.

PTI