Principals to fine cigarette-sellers | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Principals to fine cigarette-sellers

mumbai Updated: Dec 24, 2010 00:56 IST
HT Correspondent

Come January 2011, principals, librarians and 26 other authorities from schools and colleges can fine shops selling ghutka and cigarettes within 100 metre vicinity of any campus.

A request has also been made to the urban development department to amend the shops act to prevent paanwalas and shops from selling these within the 100-metre limit.

This is part of a special drive initiated by Satej Patil, minister of state for home, by enforcing a rule that already exists in the Food and Drugs Act.

“According to a provision in the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COPTA), 2003, sale and advertisement of tobacco or related products are banned within 100 metre of educational institutes and airports,” Patil told the media at Mantralaya on Thursday. “Apart from the police, 26 other authorities, including principals and librarians, can fine anyone found violating the law. But, this has not been used till now.”

The implementation of the act would be carried out through a special eight-day drive beginning from the first week of January, Patil said.

Patil said he had studied the issue and had found several shops functioning with licences and hence could not be closed down.

“Taking this into consideration, I have sent a request to the urban development department so that the municipal corporations can make a change in the shop act to ensure that small shops selling paan and ghutka near education institutes are not given licences,” he said.

While the principal can collect a fine amounting to Rs 300, the police can levy a minimum fine of Rs 1,200. If there is criminal prosecution, the offender can get up to one year in prison and/ or a fine of up to Rs 1,000. A second offence can lead to up to two years in prison and/or fine of up to Rs 3,000.