M/S R.K. Products Company v. Union of India et al.
M/S R.K. Products Company v. Union of India et al. Patna High Court CWJC No.12871 of 2012 (2) dt.20-07-2012
- Jul 20, 2012
- High Court of Judicature at Patna
Plaintiff M/S R.K/ Products Company
Defendant Union of India
Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations, 2011 Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003
Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006
Type of Litigation
Challenge to Government Policies Relating to Tobacco Control/Public Health
Tobacco companies or front groups may challenge any legislative or regulatory measure that affects their business interests. Unlike public interest litigation, these cases seek to weaken health measures. These cases frequently involve the industry proceeding against the government. For example, a group of restaurant owners challenging a smoke free law as unconstitutional.
Tobacco Control Topics
Contents and Disclosures Measures
Measures for testing, measuring, regulating, or disclosing the contents and emissions of tobacco products. (See FCTC Arts. 9 and 10)
Tobacco is a legal product and the tobacco industry is a legal industry.
Ultra Vires Regulation
Subsequent regulations exceed the scope of the originating law.
Type of Tobacco Product
Smokeless tobacco products
Tobacco products that are used by means other than smoking, such as chewing, sniffing, or placing between the teeth and gum. Examples include chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco, snuf, snus, gutkha or gutka, and dissolvable tobacco products.
RK Products filed a writ challenging the Indian government and its ministries from enforcing the ban on gutkha or pan mashala containing tobacco. The writ asserts that the regulations regarding gutkha or pan mashala under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 are invalid because neither gutkha nor pan masaha are food and that the national Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003 (COTPA) should regulate tobacco products. RK Products, a business that stocked and sold gutkha prior to the regulations, seeks relief from the regulations while the litigation is ongoing. The court gives the government three options: 1) to allow RK to move their stock to a state which does not have the regulations, 2) to account for RK’s stock and seal it, or 3) to account for the stock and require a promise from RK not to sell their products during the case proceedings.