In a major setback to aracanut cooperatives spread in the southern states Supreme Court refused to lift the ban on sale of tobacco products like gutka and pan masala in plastic sachets, a bench of justices G S Singhvi and K S Radhakrishnan allowed all impediment applications of various stakeholders, saying the court will hear all their concerns.
The bench also directed Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam to file the government’s reply to issues raised by the stakeholders within four weeks.
The bench also directed the government to make available to concerned parties within two weeks the copies of the report dated February 17, 2011 on use of tobacco.
The court will start its hearing from July 20 and said there would be no adjournments in the case.
Earlier the government had notified the law banning plastic packaging of non-smoking tobacco products on February 4 after the bench had rebuked it on February 2 for not implementing the law and asked it to notify the same within two days.
Endorsing the Rajasthan High Court order, the bench had on December 7 last restrained gutka, pan masala and chewing tobacco manufacturers from using plastic as packaging material for their products from March 1 this year.
Earlier, aracanut cooperative leaders led by Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yedurrapa had met Prime Minister and Law Minister to seek one year of moratorium on the government order of banning plastic sachets.
Several Members of Parliament from the states of Karnataka, Kerala and other states rallied around these cooperatives against government order.Leaders were pinning hope on April 13 hearing of the matter in Supreme Court.