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Gujarat HC issues notice to Centre over tobacco notification

The division bench issued the notice to the Centre and posted the hearing to May.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published: April 13, 2016 3:08:15 am
Gujarat High Court, pictorial warning, tobacco pictorial warmning, tobacco warning, mandatory warning, mandatory, pictorial warning, Tobacco kills over one million Indians annually.

The Gujarat High Court Tuesday issued a notice to the Centre on a petition challenging the Union Health Ministry’s notification which makes 85 per cent pictorial warning on both sides of tobacco product packages mandatory from April 1.

The division bench of Justices M R Shah and A J Shastri issued the notice to the Centre and posted the hearing to May 2.

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The petitioner Nitin Garg, owner of city-based Vishnu Tobacco Products, says the notification is “irrational and arbitrary and issued without considering the rights and interests of the tobacco industry.”

If 85 per cent space is used for pictorial warning, no space will be left for brand name and logo and “all the products will look the same, giving rise to spurious products”, the petition says.

Also, for want of space, it would be impossible to follow the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules of 2011 under which information about contents, etc., has to be displayed. Before issuing the notification, there was no “impact assessment” it adds, demanding quashing of the notification.

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