CHENNAI: A PIL has been filed in Madras High Court to exempt HANS CHHAP, scented tobacco, from the applicability of a notification dated May 23, 2013, of the Food Safety authority.
Hardly 10 days after the HC had declared that tobacco is not a food product for the purpose of Food Safety and Standards Act and no proceedings could be initiated against manufacturers under the Act, VN Arumugam & Company in George Town area, a producer of ‘HANS’ approached the HC to declare the ban on such products by the State under the Act, as illegal.
The petitioner also wanted court to restrain authorities from detaining and seizing any consignment as an interim relief.
According to the petitioner, the Commissioner of Food Safety and Drug Administration issued the notification prohibiting the manufacture, storage, distribution or sale of gutkha/pan masala and any other food product containing tobacco or nicotine as ingredients in the State.
Claiming that since HANS is made of only tobacco and no eatables, the petitioner said the provisions of FSSAI does not define such products as food and hence they could not be banned. When the petition came up before Justice M Govindaraj, special government pleader sought time to file counter and the matter was adjourned till June 22.