New Delhi The Supreme Court has transferred to itself a petition filed by a leading chewing tobacco manufacturer against the ban on sale of gutka and paan masala.

Gutka manufacturers have moved various high courts questioning the constitutional validity of the notifications issued by various state government. The manufacturers are insisting that gutka cannot be treated and regulated as ‘food’ as it has “no nutritional value” and highlight the “discriminatory nature” of the ban that has brought their business to a “complete halt”.