Indian court cancels 85-pct statutory warning space on cigarette packages

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NEW DELHI,  An India court struck down the 2014 amendment rules that mandated pictorial health warnings to cover 85 percent of tobacco product packaging space, officials said Saturday. 
The Karnataka high court said the 2014 amendment rules violated constitutional norms and India's federal health ministry lacks jurisdictional power to make such rules. 
According to the court, the 40-percent pictorial health warning rule, which existed prior to the amendment, shall remain in force. 
The decision came in a case filed by various tobacco manufacturing companies and others from across the country, challenging the 85-percent pictorial warning rule ordered by Indian health ministry. 
The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Rules, 2014 came into effect in April last year. 
Last year, the country's apex court transferred all petitions against the 85-percent rule filed in various high courts to the Karnataka high court for disposal. 
The petitioners had said there was no evidence to show smoking causes the diseases depicted in the "extremely gruesome and unreasonable" pictures. 
The bench observed that the rules cannot be made to scare people but to issue notifications. Enditem 
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National News Agency, Nepal

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