New Delhi: Waking up to the ground reality, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked the government to report how its proscription order on the use of plastic pouches to pack chewing tobacco and pan masala was being implemented.

A bench comprising Justice G S Singhvi and Justice H L Dattu passed the orders after hearing a case of contempt of the Court’s decision in the case. The court has asked the Central government to submit a report on the contempt petition.

Earlier, the bench asked the Centre’s representative, Additional Solicitor General Mohan Jain, if the case came under the purview of contempt.

Replying to the court, Jain said after the ban came into force, chewing tobacco was being sold not in packets but in sachets which were for one-time use.

“The ban was only on small plastic sachets and not on large packets to the date on which the contempt petition has been filed. The order to ban packets and sachets both has been passed on May 11.”

The court was told that soon after the court order (of May 11, 2011), they immediately stopped the use of plastic sachets.

In accordance to that, Jain said, the government has followed the order passed and would submit a report on it.

The matter will now come up for hearing on September 7.

Earlier, the court had issued a showcause notice to Dharampal Satyapal Group of Companies, manufacturers of chewing tobacco.
The court had issued the notice on being told that the companies were marketing their products in plastic pouches violating the court's orders.

Appearing for the Dharampal Satyapal Group of Companies, senior counsel, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, told the court on Thursday that 'we have not committed any contempt and if we have then we are extremely sorry for it... we did not intend to commit any contempt'.

JPN/Bureau