SC stays pictorial warnings on cigarette packs

SC stays pictorial warnings on cigarette packs

September 20, 2013   04:31 pm

The Supreme Court in a majority decision today issued an interim order staying Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena’s regulation to display pictorial warnings on cigarette packets.

The stay order, sought by the Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) to quash the Gazette for pictorial warnings, was initially refused by the Court of Appeals in February this year.
The appeal was filed by the CTC against the Health Ministry directive requiring 80 percent space in every single cigarette packet allocated to display both printed and pictorial health warnings about the health hazards of smoking.

The application had cited Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena as the first respondent and the Health Ministry Secretary as the second respondent.

The Ceylon Tobacco Company had claimed that the law did not empower the Minister to implement it, though Minister Sirisena issued a special gazette notification with all the regulations to implement the pictorial warnings on the cigarette packets with effect from November 8, 2012.

The Supreme Court on February 28 had suggested that the Health Ministry and the Ceylon Tobacco Corporation settle the health warning issue by reducing the size of the picture on cigarette packs.

The Court gave both parties time until March 28 to settle the issue.

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