The apex court lifted the stay on the Centre’s order for 85 percent warning granted by the Dharwad Bench of the Karnataka High Court.
The Supreme Court also transferred all cases challenging the tobacco product warning rule to the Karnataka High Court.
The apex court directed the Karnataka High Court to decide the case in eight weeks.
The Supreme Court stated that no order is valid until the matter is fully disposed by the Karnataka High Court.
Karnataka Health Minister U.T. Khader had earlier in his letter to Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda appreciated the Union Government for the steps it has taken to battle the tobacco menace, but demanded that the government should not step back on its decision on the pictorial warnings displayed on the cigarette packs and other tobacco products.
Earlier, the Centre had ordered that tobacco products would carry 85 percent pictorial warnings.
The Health Ministry’s notification of September 24, 2015, for implementation of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Rules, 2014, came into force from April 1 onwards. These prescribed larger pictorial warnings on tobacco products.
Earlier, the Health Ministry had made a commitment to the Rajasthan High Court on March 28 this year that all tobacco products manufactured from April1onwards would carry larger pictorial health warnings. (ANI)