HC notice on gutkha ban notification

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court has asked the state government to submit a copy of the comprehensive notification that was issued last week banning the sale and manufacture of gutkha in the state.

A Division Bench comprising acting Chief Justice P K Mohanty and Justice S K Mishra yesterday issued the notice to the state government in response to a PIL filed by an NGO in December last year seeking the court's indulgence in banning consumption and trade in nicotine containing smokeless tobacco substances that are causing cancer.

While the state government has in the meantime come out with a notification banning gutkha, the petitioner advocate sought to know whether the notification was comprehensive and whether the same was enough to completely eradicate the use of deadly smokeless tobacco in the state as was prayed in the PIL.

Accordingly, the HC directed the health secretary and the food and civil supply secretary to file a detailed report of the government notification.