New Delhi: The supreme court Monday said it will decide whether packets of tobacco products would carry the statutory pictorial warning .
The apex court will hear all 45 petitions together including the one filed by the Centre against a Karnataka High Court order quashing the 2014 government regulation that packets of tobacco products must carry pictorial warning covering 85 per cent of the packaging space.
“Let all the matters be listed for hearing on May 8,” the bench comprising chief justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud while allowing various interim applications, seeking to be made as parties to the main petitions. The matter has been posted for final hearing on May 8.
The bench was hearing appeals including those filed by NGO ‘Health for Millions Trust’ and Umesh Narain, a senior advocate, against the high court verdict.
The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Rules, 2014 (COTPA) had come into effect from April 1, 2016.
The Karnataka High Court, on December 15,2017, quashed the government of India regulation holding that they were unconstitutional as they violated fundamental rights like the right to equality and the right to trade. The high court had, however, made it clear that the 40 per cent pictorial health warning rule, which existed prior to the amendment rules, would remain in force.
The top court court had on January 8 stayed the Karnataka High Court order observing that the submissions of the Tobacco Institute of India(TII) that the interim say would harm the fundamental right to do business of tobacco manufacturers.