The Delhi high court on Wednesday directed Delhi Police commissioner to take the strictest possible action against those selling tobacco products within the prohibited 100 yards of schools, colleges and hospitals in the Capital.
According to the order, any vendor caught selling tobacco products like cigeratte, gutkha or pan masala near these places will face penalty ranging from a fine of R1,000 to three months’ imprisonment. The court has also ordered immediate sealing of all such errant outlets.
“Any transgression of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003 shall be visited with the strictest punishment under the Act. The law has to be strictly implemented,” ruled chief justice Dipak Misra and justice Sanjiv Khanna.
Delhi University too has been asked to direct all its colleges to appoint a nodal officer to help curb use of tobacco products by students. It has also been asked to participate in various awareness campaigns in this regard. “Smoking by young children is not only harmful for their health but also introduces them to criminality. Not only active smoking, passive smoking, which their non-smoking friends are subjected it to, is equally dangerous,” the judge said.
The court took a tough stand after the World Lung Foundation (South Asia), petitioners in the PIL, complained that the sale of tobacco products still continues near schools despite court order.