MUMBAI: Though there is a ban on gutkha and scented tobacco, the sale of gutkha is on the rise.
The State government is going to amend the law where selling of gutkha will be a non-bailable offence and the punishment will be up to seven-year imprisonment.
The government is also contemplating of imposing Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in such cases.
Food and Drug Administration Minister Girish Bapat announced in the Legislative Council on Friday that despite a ban on gutkha and scented tobacco, the sale and consumption of gutkha is rising.
“The government is serious about the smuggling of gutkha from other states and will take stringent action against these offenders,” said Bapat.
However, LoP Dhananjay Munde alleged that an official from FDA RD Aakrupe threatened him in his office at Vidhan Bhavan. After his complaint, Bapat immediately suspended Aakrupe.
Munde alleged that the Aakrupe entered in his office and questioned him why he had raised the calling attention motion in the council.
Last week, Munde had raised the issue of selling of gutkha in the state.
“How officials come to our office and threaten a public representative? Does the government want to shut the opposition’s voice?,” Munde asked. Sunil Tatkare, Jayant Patil and Kapil Patil participated in the discussion.