New Delhi: Refusing to lift the ban on sale of tobacco products like gutka and pan masala in plastic sachets, the Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed several civil societies and NGOs working for anti-tobacco mission to become a party to the hearing of the plea.


However, the manufacturers of non-smoking, chewing tobacco products were also allowed to be party to the plea hearing by the Apex Court.


A bench of Justices G S Singhvi and K S Radhakrishnan allowed all the impleadment applications of various stakeholders, saying the court will hear all their concerns.

The bench also directed Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam to file the government's reply, within four weeks, to issues raised by the stakeholders.

Subsequently, NGOs and gutka manufacturers have been asked to file their replies to the government's submission in another four weeks.

The bench also directed the government to make available the copies of the report dated February 17, 2011 on use of tobacco to concerned parties within two weeks.

The court which will start its hearing from July 20 said there would be no adjournments in the case.

Earlier, the government had notified the law banning plastic packaging of non-smoking tobacco products on February 4 after being rebuked by Apex Court on February 2 for not implementing the law and asked it to notify the same within two days.

JPN/Bureau