Tobacco Co. files writ application relating to health warnings

By Chitra Weerarathnea

The Ceylon Tobacco Company Private Ltd, yesterday filed a Writ Application in the Court of Appeal, requesting the Court to issue a mandatory order on the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol, and also on the Secretary to the Ministry of Health asking them to provide the petitioner on time a compact disc containing the prescribed 80% health warnings, which should be printed on tobacco packs.

The petition said that the need to carry 80% pictorial warnings had been passed in Parliament on Feb. 20, 2015. The petitioner had not yet received a copy of the Bill which had now become law. A failure on the part of the respondents to provide the petitioner with the details well in advance could compel the petitioner to close down the manufacturing plant for some time. A closure would result in a loss of Rs. 200,000,000 per delay. If the plant was shut down for five days, the revenue loss to the government would be approximately Rs. 1 bn.

The first respondent will be in breach of his legal duty, if he did not provide on time, the prescribed 80% pictorial warnings, with descriptive regulations, the petition added.

Among the respondents are the National Authority on Tobacco, Alcohol and Secretary to the Ministry of Health, Dr D. M. R. B. Dissanayake.

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