A PIL was filed at Jharkhand High Court demanding the government to strictly implement a ban on the sale, purchase, storage and distribution of tobacco products in Jharkhand.
The petitioner Shiv Shankar Sharma has said that the ban on tobacco products is openly violated. He alleged the police for not taking actions against manufacturers and distributors despite cases lodged against them food safety inspector of Ranchi in 2020.
The petitioner said that by the order of the health department pan masala is banned in Jharkhand because it contains harmful chemicals as proved by test. But the ban is not effective as of now as the police hardly act against big players. He referred to two cases lodged at Argora police station and Sukhdeonagar police station in Ranchi. In both cases the accused are manufacturers and distributors. But the investigation was not seriously carried out.
Notably, in 2019 a PIL was filed regarding ban on pan masala in Jharkhand by an NGO Fariyad Foundation. During the hearing the double bench of Chief Justice Dr. Ravi Ranjan and Sujit Narayan Prasad had passed a direction to the state police to take legal actions including FIR and arresting of people breaking the law. During the hearing the Chief Justice had shown the state how he got prohibited pan masala from the market when the state government claimed that there was total ban on pan masala.
The petitioner has said that he reasonably believes neither the state government nor its agencies are keen to effectively implement a ban on pan masala in Jharkhand. He has requested the court to direct the Income Tax and the Enforcement Directorate to initiate a probe into the matter as pan masala is illegally sold in Jharkhand.