Principals, Sarpanch can challan tobacco sellers

Last Updated: Friday, July 29, 2011 - 00:59

New Delhi: Heads of educational
institutions including school principals, proctors and
university vice-chancellors will soon have powers to challan
anyone found selling tobacco products in the vicinity of these
In a major development meant to check illegal sale of
tobacco products around schools and colleges, the Ministry of
Health has proposed an additional notification under the
existing Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of
Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce,
Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COPTA) to list
people who will have the power to enforce the provisions of
the law.

The notification has been sent for the Law Ministry`s
approval, after which it will become operational. It has been
issued under Sections 6 (a) and 6 (b) of COPTA which prohibit
- the sale of tobacco products to minors and sale in an area
within a radius of 100 yards of any educational institution.

The said sections also mandate the installation of a
display board at the point of sale of tobacco declaring that
such sale to minors is prohibited and a display board in all
educational institutions stating that sale of tobacco within
100 yard radius is prohibited.
As per the proposed new notification, the following
persons will have the authority under COTPA to act against and
punish offenders -- V-Cs, Directors, Proctors, principals,
headmaster, in-charge of educational institutions as well as
junior labour commissioners from the Department of Labour.

Besides, Municipal Health Officers, representatives
of Panchayati Raj Institutions including chairpersons,
sarpanch and panchayat secretaries can slap fine on

All officers of the rank of sub-inspector in state
food and drug administration; all officers of the rank of
inspectors and above from the department of education and all
officers of the rank of sub-inspector of police and above from
the department of home affairs will also be empowered to take
action in this regard.

District Programme Managers and finance managers from
the District Health Societies under the National Rural Health
Mission, civil surgeons, chief medical officers at district
hospital and medical officers at primary health centres will
also be authorised to challan the offenders.

Powers will also be given to block development
officers, block extension educators, directors and joint
directors, Department of Health and Department of Education in
the state governments and nodal officers of state and district
tobacco control cell under the National Tobacco Control

Officials of the Health Ministry said the fresh
notification was brought in after several state governments
expressed a desire for clarification as they were facing
problems with the enforcement of the relevant sections of


First Published: Thursday, July 28, 2011 - 22:05

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