CID of Assam Police has issued a directive that the Juvenile Justice Act was applicable to any person offering or selling tobacco products to any minor.
Under Section 77 of the amended Act, if any person, other than a qualified medical practitioner, gives tobacco products or intoxicating beverage or any other narcotic or alcoholic products, he or she will be liable for imprisonment up to seven years and fine up to Rs 1 lakh.
According to a circular issued by DIG (CID) Rounak Ali Hazarika, those selling tobacco products to minors, those promoting use of tobacco products by minors in any manner will also be liable to face criminal proceedings.
Particular attention should be paid against such offenders within 100 yards of any educational institutions.
Action should be taken against such offenders and the matter included in the Monthly Crime Review (MCR) reporting of The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA).
All Deputy Commissioners of Police of Guwahati and Superintendents of Police of all districts of the state have been directed to implement the provisions of the Act, an official release said today.
Hazarika has also instructed that one police officer in each police station should be designated as a child welfare officer under Section 107(1) of the Act.
On an average, everyday 140 children start tobacco use in Assam with 39.4 per cent people in the state having tobacco addiction.