The Cigarettes (Regulation of Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 1975

An Act no. 49 of the year 1975 i.e. being the Cigarettes (Regulation of Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 1975, which was enacted by the India Parliament in the 26th year of republic of India, and has received the assent from the President of India on 16th day of August, 1975. The sole purpose and object of the present enactment was to make provisions as to certain restrictions relating to productions, supplies, distribution and also trade and commerce in the Cigarettes. In short, the statutory warning as appearing on the cover or packets of the Cigarette i.e. ‘the Cigarette is injurious to health’ is provided due to the provisions of this Act. The provisions of the Act are sought thereunder to extend to the entire territories of India, without having any exception to any territories therein. And for bringing into operation and effect, the Central Government

The Act contains in all twenty two sections, in which the first provision is dealing with the short titling, extension and commencement of the provisions of this Act, and also the second provision is providing certain definitions.

In relation to its purpose, the Act from its section 3 sought to make relevant provisions, wherein at the first instance, the production, supply, distribution of Cigarettes are restricted and it is only permitted when the package of such Cigarettes to bore the in its label the aforesaid warning. Even persons carrying on trade or commerce in such Cigarettes, can not continue to do so unless, there is mentioned a specified warning on the package thereof as aforesaid. The same rule is made applicable in case of the importation of Cigarettes for distribution or supply or sale by any persons. Now, it is made clear that such Specified warning which the package of Cigarettes to bear should be legible and prominent and should also be conspicuous as to the size and colour and also for its letter style, it should be bold and to be in such manner as to appear clearly in the distinct contrast. Thus, the said warning is required to be printed on the package of Cigarettes in such manner so as to appear soon before the consumer opens the package.

Similarly, the provisions of the Act also sought to impose restrictions on advertisement of the Cigarettes. It is made clear that any persons seeks to advertise the Cigarettes for distributing, selling, etc. and also the persons taking part in such advertisements should first ensure that is that specified warning included in that advertisement or not. Similarly, in the advertisement it should also be ensured that such specified warning is conspicuous, legible and prominent. Even any documents containing such advertisement, cannot be imported by any persons, where such warring including provisions are not followed.

In relation to the languages in which the said specified warning should be written or printed on the package of the Cigarettes and used in the advertisement of such Cigarettes, the Act provides in the first instance that the same should be English language, however, there should also be used any other Indian language or foreign languages. And other than specified warning no matter inconsistent with that should be mentioned in the said packaging, labels or advertisement. The height of letters in which the specified warning will be displayed on the package, etc. of the Cigarettes, is provided under this Act as should not be less than 3 millimetres.

Moreover, the Act also makes provisions as to empowering the Police officials (not under the rank of Sub- Inspector) to enter into any factory, building, etc. places where such officers are having believe that the provisions of this Act is being breached and such officials can also search the same places. Similarly, Act empowers such police officer to seize the packages of the Cigarettes in relation to which the provisions of this Act appeared to have been breached. Also, provisions as to confiscation of packages are also provided by the Act.

The carrying on of trade, commerce or production, supplies, distribution, etc. of Cigarettes, without complying with the provisions under this Act as to providing specified warning in relation thereto, is being made punishable by this Act. And punishment in relation to such acts will be in the form of payment of penalty which will include the five times the value of the package of cigarettes or 1000 rupees, whichever is more. Provision of appeal as against the orders of the Court which has decided a confiscation under this Act or orders relating to imposing penalty is also provided under the Act. However, the Act does not provide for any second appeal provision. Further penalties for certain other acts are also provided under this Act and also offences by the companies and persons liable to punishment thereof. It is also made clear in the Act that such offences thereunder are bailable and cognizable. The Act further sought to protect the actions taken by Central Government, State Governments or any officers thereof against any legal actions, if the said actions by them were taken in good faith or even if the same were intended under the provisions of this Act. The Central Government under this Act is empowered to make rules for carrying out the provisions thereof and also on the matters provided in the concerned provision of this Act. Notable, the Act, however, does not apply to the exportation of the Cigarettes.

Download & Read the Bare Act: The Cigarettes (Regulation of Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 1975-pdf

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