The sale of cigarettes and tobacco products inside the Delhi High Court complex has been banned since June 16 this year, the court was informed on Wednesday. This decision was today communicated to a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar during the hearing of a PIL by a lawyer who had sought removal of a single shop located inside the high court campus which sells cigarettes and other tobacco products. However, some lawyers were seen smoking inside the court complex. The decision was enforced by a memorandum issued by the Registrar General on June 16 as recommended by the chamber allotment panel which was asked to look into the issue.
The PIL was dismissed in default as the petitioner advocate did not appear when the matter came up for hearing.
The high court on April 11 had ordered enforcement, within its premises, of the rule prohibiting smoking in public places. “Necessary steps are required to be taken to enforce the provisions of Rule 3 of the Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Rules 2008 in the (Delhi) High Court premises,” the court had said.
Under Rule 3 of the 2008 Rules, smoking in a public place is prohibited and the owner, proprietor, manager, supervisor or in-charge of the affairs of a public place has to ensure that such activity does not take place.
The high court had directed its Registrar General to apprise it on July 5 about the steps taken to comply with the rule. It had also asked the Registrar General to place a copy of the court’s order before the Chamber Allotment Committee of Delhi High Court to enable the panel look into whether the shop selling cigarettes inside the court premises can be allowed to continue there.
Pursuant to the recommendation of the committee to enforce ban on sale of tobacco products inside the high court, it was communicated to the ‘paan’ shop on June 16 by a memorandum.
The shop was granted a licence in the year 2000 before the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act came into force in 2003. The licence was then renewed till December 31, 2018.