New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday admitted a batch of petitions challenging a Karnataka high court judgment which struck down a regulation that tobacco product packets must have a pictorial warning covering 85% of the space.
However, the apex court bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Mishra and justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul refused to grant any interim stay on the high court judgment as it is yet to be uploaded by the Karnataka high court on its website.
“We do not know what is there..how can we pass an order without knowing. We are in a different position as there is no judgment," the bench said while requesting the high court registry to upload the judgment.
The court was hearing appeals filed by NGO Health for Millions Trust, one Umesh Yadav and Seema Sarkar.
The Karnataka high court on 15 December, the last working day before the court closed for winter vacations, had struck down the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Rules, 2014 for being unconstitutional. These rules mandate a “85% pictorial warning on packet" for tobacco products in India.
The petitioner before the high court, Tobacco Institute of India, had argued that the rule was impractical and that there was no nexus between the images and the warnings. Presently, by virtue of the high court judgment, the pre-amendment “40 per cent pictorial health warning rule" is in force.
The matter will be heard on 8 January 2018.