Gutkha manufacturers urged the Bombay high court on Thursday to grant them permission to shift stocks kept in Maharashtra.
The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) had imposed a ban on gutkha and pan masala containing tobacco, nicotine or magnesium carbonate on July 19.
The court, however, reacted to the request saying the ban had actually been in place when the Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011 came into force.
The bench comprising chief justice Mohit Shah and justice Niteen Jamdar was hearing petitions filed by six gutkha, pan masala and tobacco manufacturers.
The manufacturers challenged the validity of the ban contending that in a petition filed by Ghodawat Pan Masala (India), the Supreme Court had held that the powers of prohibition under the Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) Act cannot be used to ban the manufacture and sale of tobacco products listed under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act of 2003 and section 30(2)(a) of the FSS Act is similar to section 7(vi) of the PFA Act.
Advocate general Darius Khambata justify the ban saying it was a health hazard.