Bombay HC seeks state govt’s response on PIL seeking action on manufacture, sale of banned products

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Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai | Published: August 13, 2020 1:20:18 am

After government lawyer Geeta Shastri sought time to respond to the plea, the court directed the state government to file an affidavit and posted the further hearing to September 1. (File)

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to file an affidavit in reply to a PIL seeking directions to constitute a special task force, led by the Central Bureau of Investigation, to deal with manufacturing, selling, trading of banned products, including gutkha, khaini, and zarda, that may lead to further spread of the coronavirus disease.

A division bench of Justices A A Sayed and S P Tavade was hearing a plea filed by one Arvind R Singh, through senior advocate Jamshed Cama and advocates Anil Mishra and Jindagi Shah, that one of the contributors to the spread of Covid-19 was banned products such as gutka, khaini and zarda.

Cama submitted the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales) Regulations, 2011, had banned the use of gutkha and nicotine, while the Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (MFDA) through orders issued from time to time had also banned the use of these products. The petitioner submitted that though the ban was in place, the products were coming into the state from Madhya Pradesh and sought stringent laws to implement the state-wide ban and immediate action against such cartel, hoarders and transporters.

After government lawyer Geeta Shastri sought time to respond to the plea, the court directed the state government to file an affidavit and posted the further hearing to September 1.

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