Narinder S. Chadha & Ors. VERSUS Municipal Corporation

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NO.10836 OF 2014

[Arising out of SLP (Civil) No.30832 OF 2011]

Narinder S. Chadha & Ors. … Appellants

VERSUS

Municipal Corporation of … Respondents

 

In this batch of matters, we are concerned with the Municipal Corporations of various cities implementing the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply & Distribution) Act, 2003.In the first case before us, namely, civil appeal arising out of SLP(C)No.30832 of 2011 – Narinder S. Chadha and others v. Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and others, a judgment of the Bombay High Court dated 11th August, 2011 disposed of a writ petition in which several wide ranging contentions were urged, and ultimately decided that the impugned circular dated 4th July, 2011 only implemented the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply & Distribution) Act, 2003 (hereinafter referred to as the “Cigarettes Act”) and the Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Rules, 2008 (hereinafter referred to as the “Rules”) and dismissed the challenge to the said circular. Similarly, in cases arising from Chennai and Ahmedabad, similar circulars/notices were under challenge and in both the impugned judgments in SLP(C) Nos.19247-19248 of 2012 (Temperature etc. v. Deputy Police Commissioner, Zone-1 Ahmedabad and Others) and SLP(C) No.8143of 2014 (Robustaa (Hyglow Café) v. The Commissioner Corporation of Chennai and others), the Gujarat and Madras High Courts followed the Bombay High Court judgment dated 11th August, 2011 and, consequently, dismissed the writ petitions filed before them. It is from these three judgments that appeals have been preferred. Mr. C.U. Singh, learned senior advocate appearing on behalf of the appellants in the civil appeal arising out of SLP(C) No.30832 of 2011 made wide ranging arguments on the genesis of the Cigarettes Act and the fact that it was legislation made under Entry 52 List I read with Entry 33 List III of the 7th Schedule to the Constitution of India. He cited Godawat Pan Masala Products I.P. Ltd. & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors., (2004) 7 SCC 68, particularly the concluding paragraph 77 (6) stating that the Cigarettes Act is a special Act dealing only with tobacco and tobacco products, while the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 is general and must therefore yield to the Cigarettes Act. He also cited Bajinath Kedia v. State of Bihar& Ors., (1969) 3 SCC 838 for the proposition that once the requisite declaration under Section 2 of the Cigarettes Act is made, the State Government is denuded of any power to legislate in the field occupied by the Cigarettes Act. He also cited Paluru Ramakrishnaiah & Ors.v. Union of India & Anr., (1989) 2 SCC 541 for the proposition that executive instructions and conditions cannot be contrary to statute or statutory rules. Ultimately, however, he contended that there were three features of the impugned circular which required to be struck down being ultra vires the Cigarettes Act and the Rules made therein….read more