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K. Ramakrishnan and others (Petitioners) v. State of Kerala and others (Respondents)

Type of court
National - higher court
Feb 12, 1999
Court name
High Court of Kerala at Ernakulam
Lakshmanan, AR.
Narayanakurup, K.
Reference number
O.P. No. 24160 of 1998-A
Air & atmosphere
Air pollution (non-stationary sources) Constitutional law Offences/penalties Air quality/air pollution
This case highlighted the danger of smoking. The Petitioner sought orders to prevent the smoking of tobacco in any form in public places and to order the state to take appropriate measures to prosecute and punish all persons guilty of smoking in public places and to treat such smoking as a nuisance under the Penal Code. The court held that smoking in public places violated the atmosphere and was noxious to the health of persons present. It decided that public smoking of tobacco in any form whether in the form of cigarettes, cigars, beedies or otherwise was illegal, unconstitutional and violated Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Moreover, tobacco smoking in public places fell within the mischief of the penal provisions relating to “public nuisance” as contained in the Indian Penal Code and also the definition of air pollution as contained in the statutes dealing with the protection and preservation of the environment, in particular the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
Full text
Available in
UNEP/UNDP/Dutch Government Joint Project on Environmental Law in Africa, Compendium of Judicial Decisions on Matters related to Environment, National Decisions, Volume III, Page 180