New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday allowed sale of tobacco products, including hookahs, in eating joints and quashed circulars issued by civic bodies in various states banning their sale in such premises.
The apex court set aside judgements of various High Courts which had allowed municipal bodies to put stringent conditions on sale of tobacco products while implementing the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply & Distribution) Act, 2003.
A bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi and R F Nariman said the condition is bad inasmuch as it does not allow the licensee to keep or sell or provide any tobacco or tobacco related products in the licenced premises.
"It will be noticed that Section 6 of the Cigarettes Act permits the sale of cigarettes and any other tobacco products, except to persons under 18 years of age and in an area within a radius of 100 yards of any educational institution.
"It is clear that any condition which prohibits the sale of cigarettes or any other tobacco products in premises licenced by the Municipal Corporation would amount to adding another exception which would be impermissible in law," the bench said while setting aside the order of the Madras, the Bombay and the Gujarat High Courts which had allowed restriction on sale of tobacco products.