GUWAHATI, Sept 11 - Proactive action by the Assam Police has been instrumental in bringing about the desired result with regard to the enforcement of the COTPA (Cigarette and Other Tobacco Product Act), 2003 and eradication of violations related to point of sale-tobacco advertisement norms in the State, opined experts working in the field.
In a consultation meeting on PoS (Point of Sale) compliance organised by the Voluntary Health Association of Assam in association with the State Tobacco Control Cell, Health Department officials and experts from the civil society here today lauded the effort of the Assam Police towards tobacco control in Assam despite being busy in controlling crimes and maintaining law and order in the State.
Mukesh Sahay, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), CID, Assam, who was present in the meeting as a guest speaker, presented before the audience police action on PoS compliance and enforcement of the COTPA, 2003 in Assam.
Acting on an official request for taking action on the violations of Section 5 (ban on direct and indirect tobacco advertisements) in the State, received from the State Tobacco Control Cell, National Tobacco Control Programme, the Office of the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), CID, Assam, had directed all the district police heads to take action against violations of the said section of the COTPA in the State.
The Office of the ADGP, CID, had also issued letters to tobacco companies � ITC Ltd and VST Industries � to remove all illegal tobacco advertisements violating Section 5 of the COTPA, 2003.
On the basis of the Action Taken Reports submitted by all the Police Districts and Guwahati Police Commissionerate, the Office of the ADGP, CID, informed that the enforcement of Section 5 of the COTPA, 2003 in the context of the ban on direct advertisement at the point of sale has been prioritized in all the districts of Assam.
The office of the ADGP, CID, informed that 27 police districts have submitted quarterly Action Taken Reports (ATR) on the COTPA, 2003 for the second quarter (April-June, 2015) and 514 people were fined or challaned for violating Sections 4, 5, 6A, 6B and 7 of the COTPA, 2003 and a total of Rs 1.26 lakh collected as fine from them during the same period.
In addition to the quarterly reports, the district police from April, 2015 onwards are also submitting exclusive monthly ATRs on the COTPA, 2003. In July, 2015, 27 districts submitted ATRs to the Office of the ADGP, CID. As many as 130 persons were fined or challaned with a total of Rs 27,280 collected as fine from them during the month.