New Delhi, May 5: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed Tobacco companies to ensure that a pack cigerattes should be 85% covered with health warnings. Refusing to stay the Centre's regulation on the same, Justice PC Ghosh said that all petitions challenging the rule be diverted to Karnataka High Court and be heard afresh within 8 weeks.
The court further suggested that Tobacco companies should act responsibly and add awareness regarding the issue to help curb the ill effects of consuming Tobacco.
Last month, a few tobacco companies, backed by some foreign companies, shut down production in protest against the 85% clause, up from the current 20 % of the principal display area on packets of tobacco products.
When the SC was told that yje Dharwad bench of the Karnataka High Court jas stayed the implementation of the new rules, the former said any stay granted by any court shall not be implemented until the final order is passed by Principal Bench of the Karnataka High Court in Bengaluru.
The court said, "We request all the petitioners that till the disposal of matters by the Karnataka High Court, it will be the endeavour of all the parties to implement the rules whatever as amended. This order will not stand in the way of the Karnataka High Court deciding the matter on merit."
A total of 27 cases have been registered against the pictorial regulation in Delhi, Bombay, Karnataka and Gujarat. In fact, the Karnataka Beedi Industry Association had approached the Supreme Court, saying that the regulation would bring the industry to a grinding halt.