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Maharashtra govt issues guidelines directing police to assist FDA in curbing illegal sale of tobacco products

05:29 PM Sep 20, 2021 | Somendra Sharma

Mumbai: Maharashtra Home Department has issued guidelines for the police directing them to provide assistance to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) department in their raids and operations against people who indulge in the illegal sale of tobacco products across the state.

The FDA currently takes action against the offenders under the provisions of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.

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According to the notification issued by the state government, due to the consumption of tobacco, pan-masala, scented supari, gutkha and related products, people get addicted and put their health at risk.

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For this reason, the state government had prohibited the manufacturing, sale, distribution, stocking and transportation of tobacco products.

"Providing guidelines to the police department to assist the FDA was under consideration. This was done so that they can take suitable action against those who are involved in the business of illegal sale of tobacco products despite prohibition," said a home department official.

"The police will have to conduct a joint operation with the FDA officers against those who are into manufacturing, sale, distribution, stocking and transportation of tobacco products. They will have to provide required assistance to the FDA officers and would have to play an active role in raid and recovery operations," the guideline stated.

"The police will also have to assist the FDA officials in getting criminal offences registered at police stations. They will also have to expedite the investigation process and take necessary steps to file a chargesheet in cases at the earliest." the guidelines said.

"If the police receive any complaints regarding the illegal sale of tobacco products, they will have to check if the case is related to section 328 (Causing hurt by means of poison, etc., with intent to commit an offence) of the Indian Penal Code and take necessary action," the guidelines further stated.

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