The Delhi government had banned all forms of chewable tobacco, including gutkha, khaini and zarda, in the national capital. The government had issued a notification on March 25, 2015, prohibiting manufacture, storage, distribution or sale of tobacco which is either flavored, scented or mixed with any additive.
However, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Delhi government not to take coercive action against tobacco sellers and manufacturers.
The court was hearing a bunch of petitions filed by manufacturers, including Vishnu Tobacco Products, Trimurti Fragrances Pvt Ltd, Ashok and Company Pan Bahar Ltd, Jaiswal Products and many others seeking quashing of the notification by the Arvind Kejriwal government, challenging the ban on sale of chewable tobacco in Delhi. The manufacturers had contended that the state government has no power to issue such a notification under the Food Safety and Standards Act. They also said that they were manufacturing pure tobacco product governed by Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce,Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 and only the Centre has the power to regulate sale or ban and not the state government.