The Rajasthan Government on October 12, 2016, declared that selling any tobacco based products to any minor may result in 7 years behind the bar. The Rajasthan Police has issued the directives saying that in each police station there will be one police officer designated as the Child Welfare Officer who will look into issues related to this directive.
Under Section 107(1) of the Juvenile Justice Act, it is stated that selling any tobacco or drug based products to minors is a non-pardonable offence and any person caught violating the clause will be imprisoned for a minimum of seven years and an additional fine of Rs 1 lakh may be imposed upon the accused.
The DGP Manoj Bhatt made a special mention of section 77 of the Juvenile Justice Care and Protection Act which states that any person, apart from being a qualified medical practitioner, is found to sell any narcotic or tobacco products, he/she will end up seven years in jail with a fine of Rs 1 lakh. Any act of minors which is equivalent to promoting tobacco based products will invite criminal proceedings.
Earlier, the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act was implemented to prevent the minors from consuming tobacco products. But Dr Pawan Singhal, who happens to be the Associate Professor at the SMS Hospital and State Patron of Voice of Tobacco Victims, said that this act was ineffective as it included a fine of only Rs 200. As a result, many accused were let off easily, and the crime continued to happen.
Juvenile Justice Care and Protection Act, 2015
Earlier this year, the Mumbai Police Crime Branch launched a state-wide crackdown of the commercial joints which sold tobacco products illegally to the minors on the basis of the new Juvenile Justice Care and Protection Act, 2015.
Section 78 of the Act states that any activities which involve children peddling or supplying drug or liquor are punishable under law.
“The earlier Act had Section 25, which only forbade giving liquor or intoxicants to a child and made it punishable with up to three years of imprisonment. Section 77 of the new Act specifically mentions tobacco products and imposes a sentence of seven years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh,” said DCP (Enforcement) Pravin Patil.
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