Kerala court ruling clarified: pan masala and gutkha still banned

| January 9, 2013

Officials in the Indian state of Kerala have been quick to point out that the Kerala High Court verdict striking down a ban on the sale of chewing tobacco and other smokeless tobacco products (see January 2 story: Court decision something to chew on) does not apply to pan masala and gutkha, according to a story in the latest issue of the BBM Bommidala Group newsletter.

The ban was based on the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), but Justice A.M. Shaffique, sitting in the Kerala High Court, ruledthat the state and commissioner of food safety had no right to take any action against tobacco or tobacco products because “chew tobacco” was not a food product as defined under the FSSA 2006.

The court found that tobacco and tobacco products were to be manufactured and sold strictly in accordance with the provisions of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply, and Distribution) Act 2003.

The ruling does not apply, however, to pan masala and gutkha, which, because of their ingredients, do come under the FSSA 2006 and which therefore remain banned.

Category: Breaking News

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