The Maharashtra government is planning to enact a tough law to completely stop the sale of gutka, state food and drug administration (fda) minister Girish Bapat on Monday said.
At present, non-bailable cases are being filed against the guilty who defy the gutka ban in the state, but the government wants to completely stop the sale of gutka, Bapat said in the legislative assembly in Mumbai while replying on the issue during the Question Hour.
He said that opinion of the law and judiciary department is being sought in this regard.
Independent legislator Bachu Kadu displayed gutka packets in the House saying that despite the ban, gutka is easily available even in the Vidhan Bhavan premises.
The seizure of gutka worth lakhs of rupees during a recent raid in Thane district was raised by NCP group leader Jayant Patil.
The minister said that the owner of the godown was arrested and granted bail after 20 days.
Admitting that illegal manufacture and sale of gutka was still on in the state, Bapat said so far gutka worth Rs 50 crore has been seized in raids.
Despite the ban on manufacture, gutka is smuggled from other states. The Maharashtra government will write to the neighbouring states on the issue, he said.
Speaker Haribhau Bagde disapproved Bachu Kadu's action of bringing gutka packets on the floor of the House.
Former Speaker Dilip Walse Patil (NCP) said possessing gutka is also a crime.
Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said gutka is easily available in the vicinity of schools and colleges.