Mumbai, March 8: Alert! Alert! People selling gutkas products illegally have come under the scrutiny and are in for trouble as the state government is mulling a law to make its sale a non-bailable offence. The government stated the punishment for the offence would be three years in prison
The confirmation came in from Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration Minister Girish Bapat informed the state Legislative Council today that the punishment for trying to sell the banned product will also be enhanced to three years in prison. Decision to ban gutka was done at an early stage and when allegations were placed by the opposition party leader Dhananjay Munde , Mr Bapat said that state has seized gutka worth 114.2 crore rupees in last five years.
Further the leader also alleged that the scented tobacco mix gutka is smuggled from neighbouring states.
However, during the discussion in the legislative council , Minister of State for FDA Madan Yerawar said gutka is manufactured in other states where it is not banned, and the Maharashtra FDA, since 2012-13, has seized gutka worth Rs 114.2 crore.
Munde said, even though the sale and production of gutka is banned in Maharashtra, it still has the highest number of youth falling prey to cancer due to chewing of gutka. He demanded a CID inquiry into continuing sale of gutka despite the ban.
FDA minister Girish Bapat said that currently the sale of gutka is a bailable offence with a punishment of a maximum of six months in prison. Bapat assured that an inquiry by the vigilance squad of the FDA is ongoing into illegal sale of gutka, and the government will order a CID probe if the Leader of Opposition is still not satisfied with its report when it comes out.
Inspite of previously banning the scented tobacco, there are still some people who sell and smuggle this product and the police officials aim to deal and bring every person selling these products under the scrutiny scanner.