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Saturday June 22, 2024

SHC seeks IGP’s comments on petition against sale of gutka

By Jamal Khurshid
March 26, 2023

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has issued notices to a provincial law officer, inspector general of police (IGP) and others on a petition against sale of gutka and mainpuri in the city despite the ban on the hazardous items.

The petition was filed by a non-governmental organisation seeking complete ban on the sale of gutka and mainpuri and action against police officials who were patronising their manufacturers and sellers.

Counsel for the petitioners submitted that despite court orders for a complete ban on the sale and manufacture of gutka and mainpuri, the same were being openly sold in the city.

They submitted that gutka and mainpuri were being manufactured in different parts of District Malir from where they were being supplied to the entire city with connivance of police personnel.

The petitioners alleged that the local police had failed to stop the manufacture and sale of gutka and mainpuri in District Malir and some of the police personnel were in fact receiving bribes from those involved in the illegal business.

The high court was requested to direct the provincial police chief to take departmental action against the police personnel patronising the illegal business of gutka and mainpuri.

A division bench of the SHC headed by Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro after the preliminary hearing of the petition issued notices to the IGP and others, and called their comments on April 19.

It is pertinent to mention that the SHC had earlier ordered action against the police officers and personnel who had been patronising those selling the hazardous substances.

The high court had been informed that the government had already passed legislation to ban the sale of gutka and mainpuri, and amendments to the law recommended by a committee had been examined by the law and home departments.

The high court had observed that as per doctors, the primary reason behind the prevalence of mouth cancer in Pakistan was the use of gutka, mainpuri and mawa. The SHC had also expressed concern over a report filed by the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre’s (JPMC) cancer ward incharge a few years back that stated that as many as 18,614 cancer patients had received treatment at the JPMC during the last five years, of whom 9,453 cases had mouth cancer.