The High Court has dismissed a Public Interest Litigation petition seeking sale and usage of e-cigarettes in J&K.
A division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta dismissed the plea after hearing AAG Shah Aamir, ASGI Tahir Shamsi, and advocate Salih Pirzada on behalf of a USA-based intervener dealing in e-cigarettes.
The court said that the government of India has enacted ‘Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Act, 2019’ prohibiting use, sale and manufacture of electronic nicotine delivery system. The act has been published in the government gazette on 5-12-2019
“The petitioner is not present today. The prayers made by the writ petitioner appear to have been satisfied,” the court said.
The court further pointed out that none appeared on behalf of the petitioner on 19 August when the matter was adjourned in the interest of justice. “Clearly, the writ petitioner has lost interest in prosecution of the instant case.”
With these observations, the court dismissed the petition as “satisfied”.
One Mushtaq Ahmed Shah had filed the PIL in High Court seeking directions to the authorities to allow the use and sale of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) or e-cigarettes.
The petitioner had submitted that a committee be constituted to conduct a proper research and analysis of ENDS and thereafter formulate rules and regulations for use and sale of ENDS.
Conventional cigarette smoking, he said, could easily be eradicated by making use of e-cigarettes which has “less harmful effects as compared to tobacco products”.
Notably, the Central Drug Regulator has directed all drug controllers in states and Union territories to not allow the manufacture, sale, import and advertisement of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, including e-cigarettes and flavoured hookah, in their jurisdictions.