The Supreme Court has sought a response from the Centre on the allegations of a NGO that the Government under pressure from the 'tobacco lobby' was dragging its feet on issuing statutory pictorial warning on cigarette and tobacco products.
"Why are you not implementing it? Millions are being affected, families are getting destroyed," a bench of Justices B N Aggrawal and G S Singhvi told the Government in a terse observation while issuing notice on the application moved by Health For Millions.
The petitioner contended that thousands of people in the country are succumbing to cancer mostly due to the widespread use of cigarettes and tobacco products.
In its application, the NGO complained that though the government originally brought in the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules in 2006 to making it mandatory for all tobacco products to display statutory pictorial warnings, "it was not implemented so far under pressure from the tobacco lobby".
Under the 2006 rules, the Government had initially planned to display 'skull and bones' besides a dead body on the packages and labels to caution people on the adverse effects of smoking and using tobacco products.