New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday
allowed several civil societies and manufacturers of non-smoking, chewing tobacco products like gutka to become a
party to the hearing of a plea against their sale in plastic
Refusing to lift the ban on sale of tobacco products
like gutka and pan masala in plastic sachets, a bench of
justices G S Singhvi and K S Radhakrishnan allowed all
impleadment applications of various stakeholders, saying the
court will hear all their concerns.
The bench also directed Solicitor General Gopal
Subramaniam to file the government`s reply to issues raised by
the stakeholders within four weeks.
Gutka manufacturers and NGO`s will have to
subsequently file their replies to the government`s submission
in another four weeks.
The bench also directed the government to make
available to concerned parties within two weeks the copies of
the report dated February 17, 2011 on use of tobacco.
The court will start its hearing from July 20 and said
there would be no adjournments in the case.
Earlier the government had notified the law banning
plastic packaging of non-smoking tobacco products on February
4 after the bench had rebuked it on February 2 for not
implementing the law and asked it to notify the same within
Endorsing the Rajasthan High Court order, the bench
had on December 7 last restrained gutka, pan masala and
chewing tobacco manufacturers from using plastic as packaging
material for their products from March 1 this year.
It had also ordered the government to entrust an
independent agency with the task of testing the contents of
these sachets to evaluate the risk they pose to consumers.