The Madras high court has asked officials to form special squads, raid and seize tobacco products found in shops located within 100 yards of educational institutions.
The court directed state and central health department officials, Tamil Nadu director-general of police and the commissioner of police, Chennai city, to form special squads immediately.
Justice N Kirubakaran, who passed the order on a petition by one T C Sharath, directed the state Health and Welfare Department, Director General of Police and Commissioner of Police, Chennai, to form the squads immediately to conduct surprise raids of shops located within 100 yards of the institutions and seize tobacco products.
Madras HC comes down heavily on sale of tobacco products near schools
Sharath, in his petition sought action agai-nst smokers in public places and shopkeepers who sell tobacco products to students.
The court has given authorities time till June 20 to comply with the directive. The officials shall book those persons found smoking in public places in accordance with Section 21 of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 and file a report before the court by June 20.
The judge referred to an observation by King James I of England that smoking is hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain and dangerous to the lungs and said it was shocking to know that there is extensive use of tobacco products among school going children.