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Repeated dithering by UPA government in introducing pictorial signs and health warnings on cigarette packets invited a stinging query from the Supreme Court on Monday, “Is the government doing this to control rapidly increasing population?”

Appearing for NGO ‘Health for Millions’, senior advocate Indira Jaising told a bench comprising justices B N Agrawal and G S Singhvi that the government had succumbed to the pressure exerted by the tobacco lobby and repeatedly postponed implementation of its decision on pictorial warnings.

She asked how the government, which has ministers who own tobacco plantations, could take a decision that was contrary to their interests?

However, additional solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam said the government had taken a decision to introduce pictorial signs and health warnings on tobacco packs from May 31, 2009 and the health ministry was coordinating with other ministries for the same. TNN

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Source: Times of India