The Kerala High Court today declined to stay the ban imposed by the state government on manufacture and sale of gutka and pan masala products containing tobacco.
The court directed the government to inform it by Tuesday the action plan for implementing the ban.
The direction was issued by justice T R Ramachandran Nair while considering a batch of petitions by All Kerala Tobacco Dealers Association and manufacturers of various tobacco products. The petitions have been posted to next week.
To a submission,the government informed the court that they were willing to consider refund of the entire amount paid as tax by the manufacturers.
According to the petitioners,pan masala does not contain tobacco.
The state complained that the details of ingredients was not printed in the cover of the products. Even products coming under mouth fresheners contained tobacco.
The ban on pan masala and gutka products,were enforced last month under the provisions of Food Safety and Standards Regulation Act,2011,citing increasing incidence of gutka- induced diseases like oral cancer.
Kerala is the second state in the country to ban the use of gutka and pan masala after Madhya Pradesh.