Supreme Court asks Centre to response on the PIL claiming Plain packaging of tobacco products

New Delhi: Central Government is asked by the honourable Supreme Court to file response on a Public Interest Litigation where the immediate implementation of the Plain Packaging rules for cigarette and other tobacco products were sought on the ground that the attractive packaging entices the youth to consume them.

It was seen that the present concerned Public Interest Litigation was preferred by the senior advocate- Umesh Narain Sharma, who has been practicing in the High Court of Allahabad. Moreover, as per his contentions, he conceded that he had not made any representation to the Government, as it has become the major public and health issue.

The present matter is being considering by the bench of the Apex Court comprising of Chief Justice of India- T. S. Thakur and Justice- U. U. Lalit. And now the said bench has issued notice to the Ministry of Health on the said Public Interest Litigation contending that the delaying the implementation of plain packaging was in violation of the citizens’ rights guaranteed under the provisions of the Article 14 and Article 21 of the Constitution.

As per the petitioner, the plain packaging was needed in addition to the pictorial health warning as per provisions contained under the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act of 2003. Earlier, when the proceedings were began, the bench of the Apex Court was of view that the concerned issue was legislative however, later agreed to admit it when the petitioner’s representing advocate- Aishwarya Bhatti contended before the Bench that himself a victim of tobacco consumption who was diagnosed with tongue cancer, that judicial intervention was required. Also, the representing advocate told the bench about the strong tobacco lobby.

It was also sought to maintain by the petitioner in the PIL that the High Court of Allahabad had recommended immediate implementation of plain packaging of cigarette and other tobacco products. Also, the contentions are sought to be settled with the reference to the other countries’ action in this regard. It was contended that the plain packaging is being accepted by the several other countries like Australia, France and United Kingdom.

Adv. Faim Khalilkhan Pathan

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