Cuttack: The Orissa High Court today issued notice to the Centre in response to a PIL seeking prohibition on manufacture, sale and marketing of smokeless tobacco products like gutkha, zarda, pan masala, khaini and gudakhu which contain harmful nicotine.
A division bench of Justice Pradeep K Mohanty and Justice S K Mishra gave an order to issue notices to the Centre when the petitioner, Centre for Legal Aid to Poor, a voluntary organisation, filed an amended petition as was allowed last week.
The Centre has been asked to file the counters within four weeks and the matter would come up for further adjudication after that, the petitioner`s lawyer Janmenjaya Katakia said.
The Odisha government in January this year had issued a notification banning sale, manufacture and consumption of gutkha pursuant to a notification issued by the Centre in August, 2012 as per the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on sales) Act of 2006.
Challenging the Odisha government notification, CLAP had moved the High Court alleging that the notification was ambiguous, not comprehensive and as a result did not yield any result.
Responding to the notice of the HC, the state government informed the court that its notification was issued pursuant to the Centre`s notification.
The state government also said it had no problem in issuing another notification banning manufacture, sale and consumption of other forms of chewing tobacco, if the Union government amended its notification.
Accordingly, the High Court allowed the petitioner to amend its petition arraying the Union Government as an opposite party.