Pan masala makers approached the Delhi High Court Thursday seeking an end to central government regulations restricting them from producing and selling their products that have nicotine and tobacco.
Taking note of the petition, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Rajiv Shakdher fixed the matter for Jan 12, 2012.
The court was hearing a petition from the Smokeless Tobacco Association which challenged the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on sales) Regulations, 2011, issued by the health ministry Aug 1.
The petitioner said that the regulation was effecting the rights of manufacturers as they produced, sold and distributed products like chewing tobacco, gutkha, pan masala and other products under a special law.
The STA claimed to have at least 20 manufacturers as its members.
“Regulation 2, 3 and 4 are contrary and in contravention of the scheme to the Cigarette and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply Distribution) Act, 2003 which is a special enactment governing the tobacco and cigarette industry,” said the petition.
The STA said the industry contributed over Rs.3,000 crore to the exchequer and employed 30 million citizens.
Seeking the quashing of the regulation, the manufacturers alleged that they are being harassed by the government officials after the regulations came into force Aug 5.