Smoking in public could land you in trouble in East Jaintia Hills.
E Kharmalki, the deputy commissioner (DC) of Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district informed the public that according to the Section 4 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) 2003, no person should smoke in any public places (any places to which the public has access, whether as a matter of right or not). This includes auditoriums, railway waiting rooms, hospital buildings, amusement centres, restaurants, public offices, educational institutions, court buildings, libraries, public conveyances and other places visited by the general public, but does not include any open space.
Along with this order, the notification also ordered that under the Section 6 of the COTPA 2003, no person shall sell, offer for sale or permit the sale of cigarette or any other tobacco products to a person under 18 years. No sale of tobacco products is allowed within a radius of 100 yards of any educational institution.
The DC of East Jaintia Hills district further stated that all the head of departments, managers, principals and others must display “No Smoking”, signage specified under the Act in respective offices or premises. He further informed the general public that any violation of the Act is a punishable offence, which will have a fine up to Rs 200. The Law enforcement authorities and the authorized personnel will keep an eye on the implementation and the violation of the Act.
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