Wednesday, November 18, 2009

India banned smoking

From October 2, 2008 anyone smoking will be fined Rupees two hundred if found smoking at any place outside personal spaces like home and car, and open public areas like pavements and roads. The law came into effect after the Supreme Court rejected a petition of tobacco major ITC, which sought a stay on the government’s smoking ban order.

Places where you can’t smoke: Workplaces, hospitals, stations, auditoria, amusement centres, cinema halls, restaurants, bars, canteens, airports (except for smoking lounge), courts, educational institutions, libraries, banks, shopping malls, monuments, parks, bus stops, public transport.

Not listed as public places: Roads, and inside a car with windows rolled up.

The Delhi High Court has struck down the Ministry of Health’s 2005 notification banning smoking scenes. The court said the ban violated a filmmaker’s right to freedom of speech and expression as guaranteed under Article 19. “Directors should not have multifarious authorities breathing down their necks. A film must reflect the realities of life. It may be undesirable but it exists and is not banned by law”, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said. The order came on a petition filed by director Mahesh Bhatt questioning the validity of a notification under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act.

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