On 4 May, the Supreme Court directed tobacco companies to carry larger pictorial warnings on their products.
Earlier, the Centre had ordered that tobacco products would carry 85 per cent pictorial warnings. The apex court lifted the stay on the Centre's order granted by the Dharwad Bench of the Karnataka High Court.
The Supreme Court also transferred all cases challenging the tobacco product warning rule to the Karnataka High Court and directed the HC to decide the case in eight weeks.
The Supreme Court stated that no order is valid until the matter is fully disposed by the Karnataka High Court.
Earlier, in his letter to Union Health Minister JP Nadda, Karnataka Health Minister UT Khader appreciated the Union Government for the steps it has taken to battle the tobacco menace, but demanded that the government should not step back on its decision on the pictorial warnings displayed on the cigarette packs and other tobacco products.
The Health Ministry's notification of 24 September, 2015, for the implementation of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Rules, 2014, came into force on 1 April. The notification prescribed larger pictorial warnings on tobacco products.
Earlier, the Health Ministry had made a commitment to the Rajasthan High Court on 28 March this year that all tobacco products manufactured from 1 April onward would carry larger pictorial health warnings.