Government seeks court’s help over smoking ban

September 26th, 2008 - 9:52 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 26 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday heard a plea by the central government, seeking its help to ban smoking in public places from Oct 2.A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice P. Sathasivam decided to hear the government’s plea after Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam apprised it about various corporate bodies seeking to block the ban on smoking in public places by filing lawsuit in different high courts across the country.

Seeking transfer of all lawsuits pending before the various high courts to block the smoking ban, Subramaniam told the bench that even on Sep 23 several industrial houses and corporate bodies filed three lawsuits in the Delhi High Court for the purpose.

He pleaded that the bench transfer to itself all petitions against the government’s anti-smoking order so that the ban is not stayed due to last minute interference by some high court in the matter.

The additional solicitor general pointed out to the court that besides three lawsuits in the Delhi High Court, there were at least 31 cases pending before other high courts across the country.

The government’s law officer sought the apex court’s help in implementing the ban on smoking in public places, saying that it was being enforced following a declaration by World Health Organisation (WHO) against the habit.

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