BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday imposed heavy cost of `1 lakh on a Mumbai-based non-profit company for abuse of process of court by filing a PIL petition for the cause of e-cigarette manufacturers. Dismissing the petition, a division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Mohammad Nawaz imposed the cost on Council for Harm Reduced Alternatives which questioned the circular dated June 15, 2016, issued by the Karnataka government banning online sale of e-cigarettes.
Directing the petitioner to pay the cost to the state government within six weeks, the court said the petitioner pleaded for the cause of e-cigarettes despite knowing that these are harmful to public health.
Contending that e-cigarettes are less harmful compared to conventional cigarettes, the petitioner claimed that the circular was issued in violation of Article 14 of the constitution and causing loss to manufacturers. The circular is also discrimination in nature, the petitioner contended.