Justice Rajiv Shakdher issued notice to the Delhi government and sought its response on the plea by May 20, the next date of hearing.

The court asked the Delhi government not to take coercive action against tobacco sellers till the date it will next hear the matter.

The Delhi government has banned all forms of chewable tobacco -- including gutka, khaini and zarda in the capital.

The March 30 ban notification prohibits manufacture, storage, distribution or sale of tobacco which is either flavoured, scented or mixed with any additive.

The court's direction on a plea filed by a manufacturer, Sugandhi Snuff King Pvt. Ltd., that asked court to quash the notification, saying the central government, and not the state government, has the power to regulate sale or ban it.

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