In a proactive move, special courts are slated to be established in every district to accelerate the resolution of cases associated with the Regulation of Production and Marketing of Tobacco Products (COTPA Act). This decision by the High Court stems from the recognition that a significant number of cases are still awaiting resolution at the trial stage, coupled with the observed rise in COTPA-related cases in Kerala.
The High Court has instructed Chief Judicial Magistrates to compile information on all COTPA cases registered until August 31 in both Special Magistrate Courts and other Courts across Kerala. This data is expected to be submitted by October 4. Additionally, the proposal includes the transfer of cases concerning cigarettes and tobacco products to these newly designated special courts. During the recent Onam special drive, a total of 7785 cases linked to tobacco products were recorded statewide between August 6 and September 5, resulting in fines amounting to Rs 15.56 lakh. Notably, law enforcement authorities also seized 2203 kg of tobacco products during this period.