The Supreme Court on Monday stayed a Karnataka High Court order that had struck down the rule that mandated the pictorial warning should cover 85% of the packages of tobacco products. The bench, headed by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, said that the health of the citizen was more important than business considerations, reported News18.

“Keeping in view the objects and reasons of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 and the measures taken by the State, we think it appropriate to direct stay of operation of the judgment and order passed by the High Court of Karnataka,” said the bench.

The bench was hearing an appeal filed by Health for Millions Trust, a non-government organisation, seeking an interim stay on the High Court order, reported Mint. The Supreme Court will hear the case next on March 12.

The Karnataka High Court had on December 16 struck down the Cigarette and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Rules, 2014, and declared them unconstitutional.

A special division bench of justices BS Patil and BV Nagarathna had pronounced the ruling after hearing a number of petitions filed by manufacturers of cigarettes and other tobacco products and the Tobacco Institute of India. The pleas against the 2014 rules were filed before the High Courts of Calcutta, Bombay, Gujarat, Delhi, Karnataka and Rajasthan, but the Supreme Court transferred them all to the Karnataka High Court.