Gutkha manufacturers move HC against Central ban

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Mumbai, Sep 17 (UNI) Two prominent 'Gutkha' manufacturers have moved the Bombay High Court against the newly framed Central rules, under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, that ban using tobacco and nicotine in any of the food products.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice D Y Chandrachud, which today directed the Union Government to file a reply, will hear the petition after four weeks.

The petition, filed by Gutkha manufacturers Ghodawat Industries and Dhariwal Industries, has taken strong exeception to the newly added rule 44J under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1955.

It was contended by the companies that the rules were contrary to the 2004 Supreme Court order that has specifically ruled that though Gutkha falls under definition of ''Food'', the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act will not regulate 'Gutkha' as it contains tobacco and there was a special Act enacted, which regulates tobacco-related products.

The companies have furher contended in their petition that the rules were discriminatory as it bans only sealed pouches of 'Gutkhas,' whereas all its ingredients are openly available at every Paan-bidi shops and there was no ban on sale of raw tobacco.

UNI

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