High Court Questions Jharkhand State Government Over Gutkha Still Being Sold Despite Ban.

The High Court expressed displeasure over the sale of gutkha and tobacco-borne substances despite them being banned in Jharkhand. Hearing a public interest litigation, the court of Chief Justice Dr. Ravi Ranjan and Dr. Sujit Narayan Prasad said that the sale of gutkha was going on in the open. The court asked the government why does it make laws when it can not enforce them. It asked the government why manufacture and sale of gutkha is going on and how are gutkha and tobacco-borne products reaching Jharkhand despite ban on the transportation, manufacture and sale of gutkha and related products.

During the hearing, the government asked for time to file an answer. It said that the answer was ready, but could not be filed. The government said that action is being taken against gutkha sellers and raids are being conducted. The court said that the actions are only on paper and rather than knowing the actions the government took, they want to hear that the state is completely free from gutkha. The court set the next date for hearing the case in November, and directed the government to submit a detailed report. The court asked for secretary of the Department of Food Supplies to appear on tha date and tell the court for steps taken to completely free the state from gutkha and tobacco products. The Chief Justice said that the claims of the government will also be investigated and the court will investigate itself to see if gutkha is being sold. Therefore, the government will have to present its report carefully.

The Public Interest Litigation was filed by the Fariyad Foundation to stop the sale of gutkha and tobacco-borne substances. Many people are suffering from serious diseases by consuming gutkha. It stated that while the transportation, production and sale of gutkha has been banned in the state till 2021, the state government has been unsuccessful in enforcement of a law it created.

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