Tamil Nadu government has extended the ban on — manufacturing, storage, transport, distribution or sale of chewable food products, such as Gutkha and Pan masala, which contain tobacco and nicotine as ingredients – for one more year.
The Commissioner of Food Safety and Drug Administration, Tamil Nadu said the order will apply from 23 May onwards. Notably, the ban was first enforced in the year 2006 under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
This comes almost a month after the Supreme Court on April 25, stayed the Madras High Court order which had quashed the 2018 notification banning the sale of gutka, pan masala, and other tobacco products in Tamil Nadu.
Tamil Nadu government had approached the apex court challenging an order of the Madras High Court quashing a May 2018 notification prohibiting the sale, manufacture and transport of gutkha and other tobacco-based products.
The State government said that the orders of the Food Safety Commissioner banning the sale, storage, manufacture, etc. of gutkha and other tobacco products are backed by Regulation 2.3.4 of the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales) Regulations, 2011.
The High Court, however, had set aside a notification issued by the Food Safety Commissioner back on May 23, 2018, banning the manufacture, storage, transport, distribution and sale of gutkha, pan masala and other chewable food products containing tobacco/nicotine as ingredients.
Allowing the Food Safety Commissioner to impose a permanent ban on tobacco products by issuing successive notifications year after year would amount to conferring a power that was not provided in the law, the HC had said. (ANI)