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Kerala High Court on Thursday refused to stay the state government’s ban on manufacture, storage and sale of gutka, pan masala and their variants containing tobacco and nicotine.

Declining to stay the May 22 last government order invoking the provisions of Food Safety and Standards Regulation Act, 2011 to ban the products, Justice T R Ramachandran Nair said prima facie he found no reason to interfere with the order.

However, the Kerala court directed the government to grant more time to remove stocks of the banned products from the state and asked it to issue a circular notifying the date for shifting the stock confiscated at various checkposts as well as in godowns of distributors.

The order was issued on a batch of petitions by the manufacturers of panmasala and gutka products challenging the legality of the government order and seeking a stay on it.Kerala Government had slapped the ban citing increasing incidence of diseases like oral cancer.

Source: PTI

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