The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to all the states and Union territories on a public interest litigation that sought a ban on manufacturers to mix gutka with carcinogenic whitening chemical agents like magnesium carbonate.
The PIL, filed by the Indore consumer forum, said the agents also had a damaging effect on vital body parts.
A Bench comprising Justice K G Balakrishnan [ Images ] and Justice Tarun Chatterjee had earlier issued a notice to the Union government on the PIL, asking the Centre to file its response to the petition within six weeks.
"Thousands of packets of gutka are a sold everyday and the manufacturers of tobacco, with impunity, manufacture and sell adulterated gutka, playing with the lives of millions of people," the petitioner said.
It said whitening agents were banned under the Food Adulteration Act, 1954.
The forum said, "Nearly all leading manufacturers use chemicals like the prohibited magnesium carbonte."
Dahriwal Manikchand, a leading gutka manufacturer, on Friday sought impleadment in the proceedings before the Court.