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Monday, July 12, 1999 Published at 16:50 GMT 17:50 UK

World: South Asia

India state bans smoking in public

The High Court in the southern Indian state of Kerala has ordered the state government to enforce a ban on smoking in public places within a month.

The court order follows a public interest petition.

If implemented, smoking will no longer be allowed in Kerala's buses, restaurants, railway stations and public buildings and offenders could face charges under the Indian penal code for causing a public nuisance and pollution.

A BBC correspondent in the kerala capital, Trivandrum, says that it's not clear how the state government will enforce the ban; he points out that the government in Delhi imposed a similar ban three years ago, which hasn't met with much success.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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