India Legal Bureau
The Madras High Court judge, Justice N Kirubakaran, in a significant ruling, has banned the sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions, particularly schools. The judge is known for giving landmark rulings, such as suggesting castration for child rapists and making helmets compulsory for two-wheeler drivers.
The High Court has taken more steps than just banning the sale of tobacco in the vicinity of educational institutions. Taking a strong note of the repercussions of the sale of tobacco near educational institutions, the court also instructed the Tamil Nadu government to constitute special teams to raid shops near these institutions to check if they were selling any such products to underage children.
Justice Kirubakaran cited surveys and research to show an increase in the use of tobacco products by adolescents and expressed shock over the present situation. The court also pressed upon proper implementation of the Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution Act, 2003. In its ruling, it sought action against those found smoking in public places.
The decision came while a single bench of the Madras High Court was hearing a petition from M/s Studio 11 represented by TC Sharath, which sought action against smokers in public places and shopkeepers selling tobacco products to students.
The bench noted that such laws have been put in place in the past but they were not creating an impact. Justice Kirubakaran also highlighted the importance of sensitising parents against the use of tobacco.