Maha govt to file caveat in HC over gutkha ban



Mumbai: Maharashtra government is going to file a caveat in the Bombay High Court, so that it can present its case before the court if anybody tries to seek a stay to the decision to ban manufacture and sale of gutkha and pan masala.

Food and Drugs Administration Minister Manohar Naik today said in the Legislative Assembly that the decision to approach the High Court was taken at the cabinet meeting yesterday.

Cabinet yesterday announced the decision to ban gutkha and paan masala, both flavoured tobacco-based products.

A caveat would be filed to guard against the possibility that manufacturers may obtain a court stay, he added.

Maharashtra had imposed ban on the sale of these products outside schools and colleges, twice in the past. But the bans were stayed by the courts each time.

The ban on gutkha and pan masala would come into effect from the day the notification is issued, Naik said.

Maharashtra would be the first state to ban both the products as Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Kerala had banned only gutkha, he said.

The ban will be in force for a year as per Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction On Sale) Regulations 2011, and would be extended thereafter.

Due to presence of magnesium carbonate in gutkha and pan masala, incidence of oral cancer was on rise, the Minister said.

PTI