Wednesday, Jul 16, 2003
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By Our Legal Correspondent
A Bench, comprising Justice Ruma Pal and Justice P. Venkatarama Reddi, thereby disposed of a public interest petition filed by Murli Deora, Congress MP.
The Bench said that in view of the enactment of the new law, no further orders were required to be passed in this petition. But, till such time the Act came into force, the orders of this court would continue to operate.
The World Health Organisation has been urging the member countries to bring in a comprehensive legislation pointing out that if unchecked tobacco would kill more people than the combined death figure from malaria, tuberculosis and maternal and child diseases. Accordingly, India has now complied with this demand and brought in legislation, which received the President's assent recently. The Act prohibits all forms of direct and indirect tobacco advertising; a total ban on sponsoring of any sport/cultural events by cigarette and other tobacco product companies; prohibits smoking in public places and public conveyance. It prohibits selling of tobacco products to persons below the age of 18 years and within 100 metres of educational institutions and imposes a fine of up to Rs. 200 for offences relating to smoking in public places and sale of tobacco products to minors.
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