NEW DELHI: Warning: Any person found inducing a child to purchase/consume tobacco may face rigorous imprisonment of seven years.
Women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi wants a statutory warning to this effect on cigarette packets. Gandhi wrote a letter to health and family welfare minister JP Nadda and urged him to consider the proposal. Gandhi wrote if Nadda gave “an inprinciple approval” to the suggestion then both the ministers can “jointly finalise the content”. She is hoping for “an early reply” from Nadda.
Gandhi has drawn Nadda’s attention to Section 77 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, which came into effect this January. The said Section reads: “If a person gives or causes to be given, to any child any intoxicating liquor or any narcotic drug or tobacco products or psychotropic substances, shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment which may extend up to seven years and shall also be liable to a fine which may extend up to one lakh rupees.”
She has informed Nadda that she has requested the state governments and the police authorities to “pay attention” to the intent of the relevant section to “ensure that the stakeholders, including schools etc, are sensitised to the extent of the problem”.