SC declines interim order on pictorial warning on tobacco products
The Supreme Court on Friday declined interim orders on question of pictorial warnings on cigarette packets while hearing a batch of petitions challenging the Karnataka High Court order which quashed the government regulation that packets of tobacco products must carry pictorial warning covering 85 per cent of packaging space.
The apex court asked Karnataka High Court to upload it's judgement of 15 December. The Court added that, 'urgency in the matter is understandable but no decision till judgement is available.' Next hearing is scheduled for 8 January.
The Karnataka High Court order had quashed the government regulation that packets of tobacco products must carry pictorial warning covering 85 per cent of packaging space. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul considered the submission for urgent hearing on the appeals filed against the high court verdict. Several petitions including the one filed by NGO Health for Millions Trust have challenged the high court verdict.
The high court had on December 15 struck down the 2014 amendment rules that mandated pictorial health warnings to cover 85 per cent of tobacco product packaging space, holding that they violated Constitutional norms. The high court had, however, made it clear that the 40 per cent pictorial health warning rule, which existed prior to the amendment rules, would remain in force.
(With agency inputs)