New Delhi, Oct 2 : The ban on smoking in public places came into force from today, coinciding with the birth anniversary of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi.
'Public places' include restaurants, hotels, cinema halls, coffee houses, railway stations, bus stops, shopping malls, courts, hospitals, educational institutes as well as public conveyances.
Initially, those violating the ban will be imposed a fine of Rs 200, but the amount is likely to be increased to Rs 1000.
Earlier, the Union Health Ministry issued a notification for the ban under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution), Act 2003.
The notification, which was brought out on May 30, was challenged in many high courts by the ITC as well the Hotel Association of India following which the Health Ministry approached the Supreme Court submitting before it to hear all the cases at one time.
The apex court had refused to stay the Central Government's notification on the ban on smoking in public places from October 2.