A plea filed against the ‘Rajnigandha’, a brand of pan masala, raises questions of its risks amid COVID-19, reported the wire. The PIL moved to the Allahabad High Court this week, wanted a ban on the selling and using of pan masala.
The PIL seeks so because users tend to spit the masala, thus increasing the risk of spreading coronavirus, reported the wire. The Rajnigandha responded by saying it “is aware of its responsibilities in this grim moment. The applicant has contributed Rs 10 crores to the ‘PM Cares’ fund and has spent another Rs. 10 crores to aid and assist organisations involved in the fight against corona.”
The affidavit containing the response of the Rajnigandha further added, “This includes reserving hotel beds for doctors (corona warriors) in Noida, food and ration to the needy, support to the Gurudwara Prabandhak Samiti to continue their ‘langars’ for the needy.”
The Wire further wrote that the UP government ordered the banning of pan masala on March 25th. This banning was announced due to the coronavirus for the larger interest of public health. The Union government too had drawn the attention of all state governments towards the threat that the chewing and spitting of pan masala could pose and accelerate the spread of COVID-19.
However, this banning was uplifted on May 6 when the coronavirus cases in India are increasing. The government added that pan masala that does not contain Tobacco or nicotine would be allowed.
The Wire further reported that the PIL filed against the Rajnigandha pointed out the risk of the coronavirus spread due to the pan masala.
The PIL filed quoted that the pandemic spreads fastly through sputum, saliva and aerosols. Thus spitting pan masala could be a major source of the spreading of coronavirus. The PIL further pointed out that the government has banned masalas containing tobacco but there are no stoppings of the tobacco-less pan masalas from getting spitted by people.
The wire reported that the ban was uplifted keeping in account the condition of farmers as well as industries. Amid the coronavirus, these sectors are the most affected.
In its affidavit, the company has pleaded that Rajnigandha “pan masala is just a mouth freshener, which does not contain tobacco,” reported the wire.