June 30, 2021 3:24:58 am
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday said it will hear two intervention applications by Mumbai Bidi Tambakhu Vyapari Sangh and Federation of Retailers Association opposing any ban or prohibition on smoking and sale of cigarettes and bidis in a public interest litigation (PIL) alleging improper Covid-19 management.
The applications sought permission to intervene in the PIL after the HC sought to know from the state government its opinion on the steps to be taken on a report by experts that indicated smokers are more vulnerable to Covid-19.
The intervenors have come up with reports contrary to the assertion that smokers were more susceptible to Covid and submitted studies that stated that the nicotine was “a preventive agent against Covid”.
The state government said it was yet to decide on “drastic steps” against smoking to curb Covid-19 spread.
The state government submitted a June 15 report by Dr Rajendra Badwe, director of Tata Memorial Centre, which referred to several researches and
worldwide studies indicating that smokers are likely to be more prone to Covid-19 infection. The court allowed both associations to intervene in the PIL.
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