Justice Rajiv Shakdher issued notice to Food Safety Commissioner of the Delhi government while restraining it from taking any action against sellers till the next date of hearing on May 20.
"Issue notice. The respondent should not take any coercive action the sellers and the manufacturers till the next date of hearing," the judge said.
The court's notice was issued on a plea by a manufacturer Sugandhi Snuff King Pvt Ltd, which has sought quashing of the notification by the Arvind Kejriwal government, banning sale, purchase and storage of all forms of chewable tobacco including "gutkha, khaini and zarda" in the national capital.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, assisted by Vivek Kohli, appearing for the manufacturer, contended that the state government has no power to issue such a notification under the Food Safety and Standards Act.
The counsel further stated that Sugandhi Snuff King Pvt Ltd was manufacturing a pure tobacco product governed by Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce,Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003.
The manufacturer also said only the Centre has the power to regulate sale or ban and not the state government.
The manufacturer moved the high court after the Delhi government had on March 27 announced the ban on sale, purchase and storage of chewable tobacco in the city.