ITC challenges smoking ban`

September 24th, 2008 - 9:24 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 24 (IANS) ITC Ltd Wednesday approached the Delhi High Court challenging the central government’s notification that slapped a ban on smoking in all public places and other establishments from Oct 2.A bench comprising of Justice Vikramjit Sen and S.L. Bhayana deferred the hearing till Sep 30 after the central government contended that a case related to the issue is coming before the Supreme Court Sep 29.

Besides ITC, two others petitioners, including Indian Hotels Association, have moved separate pleas challenging the May 2008 notification issued by the health ministry.

The rule, which would come into force on Oct 2, prohibits smoking in public places, which include private offices.

Under the restrictions, those caught smoking in public places and other private organisations will be fined Rs.200 to Rs.1,000.

Earlier this month, Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said the ban from the day coinciding with Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary would also cover hotels, restaurants and offices.

Besides this, the minister said, the government has issued notifications to make pictorial warnings compulsory on all tobacco products from Dec 1.

To begin with, the pictorial warnings would be those cleared by the Group of Ministers and would cover 40 percent of tobacco product packets, but after about one year more pictures can be brought in, he said.

The government is also making the fight against tobacco an integral part of the school health programme.

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