SC Stays Ban On Gutka In UP

New Delhi, Aug 5: | Updated: Aug 6 2002, 05:30am hrs
The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the July 18 Allahabad high court order which banned manufacture, sale and distribution of gutka and pan masala in UP.

A division bench comprising justices GB Pattanaik and Ruma Pal also issued notices to the state and three others on a special leave petition filed by Dharampal Satyapal, manufacturers of Rajanigandha pan masala and Tulsi Zarda and Gutka, Kothari Pan Products against the high court order.

Senior counsels Arun Jaitley and Shanti Bhushan appeared on behalf of the petitioners.

The notices, returnable within six weeks, were also issued to Rajendra Gupta and two other pan sellers of Kanpur.

The high court order was passed following a writ petition filed by Gupta and two pan shop owners seeking bail and quashing of the FIR against them under sections 272, 273 and 274 of the IPC and section 7 (iv) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act for selling spurious pan masala.The high court had said, “in our opinion such activities are violative of Article 21 of the Constitution.”

The high court while quashing the FIR also banned the manufacture, sale and distribution of gutka and pan masala in the state and directed UP to issue a notification to the same effect followed by a legislation.

The petitioners contended the case before HC not being a PIL, the court should not have passed a blanket ban the producers in a petition seeking the quashing of FIR.

The high court, while hearing a petition challenging the arrest warrant, had said, “panmasala and gutkha have been clearly established by scientific tests to be hazardous to the life of the people who consume as they are carcinogenic'’.