The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a petition challenging the Karnataka High Court’s ruling from earlier in December on pictorial warnings on packets of cigarette and tobacco products. The bench, however, but refused to pass any interim order on it till it reads the judgment, ANI reported.
“The urgency in the matter is understandable, but we will make no decision till the judgement is available,” the court said, scheduling the hearing for January 8.
On December 15, the High Court struck down the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Rules, 2014, and declared them unconstitutional.
According to these rules, pictorial warnings should cover 85% of packages of tobacco products. The court ruled on petitions filed by manufacturers of cigarettes and tobacco product. It had refused to strike down similar rules enforced in 2008, which said pictorial warnings should cover 40% of the packaging.
The Supreme Court’s decision on Friday comes after NGO Health for Millions filed a petition challenging the decision, The Indian Express reported. The Supreme Court asked the Karnataka High Court to upload its December 15 judgment.
Several anti-tobacco activists and doctors had also opposed the High Court decision and pointed out that larger warnings were successful in stopping people from using tobacco products.