The High Court directed the Center and the Karnataka government to take steps to reduce demand and supply of tobacco products.
The court also directed both the center and governments to consider a policy for rehabilitation of tobacco growers and workers, particularly beedi
While disposing of a public interest litigation filed by the Cancer Patients Aid Association, a division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee and Justice Ram Mohan Reddy issued the directions.
The association had sought a direction to the central government to stop extending incentives to the farmers growing tobacco.
"We feel that a policy decision has to be arrived at by the policy farming authorities. The departments of the central and state government in coordination with each other, shall take steps for reduction in local demand and supply of tobacco products and also consider a policy for rehabilitation of the tobacco growers and tobacco related workers, particularly beedi workers", the court said.
He added that only 2.07 crore was disbursed in the form of incentives to licensed growers and no subsidy is given.
However, the court clarified that the authorities shall also consider the continuance of direct and indirect incentives and subsidies for production of tobacco in the interest of justice.
The counsel of union government told the court that India has signed to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and is taking steps to reduce the production or use of tobacco by 2020.