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August 31, 2019

SHC tells IGP to take action against manufacturers, sellers of gutka, mainpuri

Karachi

August 31, 2019

The Sindh High Court on Friday directed the inspector general of police and all SSPs of the districts to ensure strict compliance with a court order to take action against sellers and manufactures of gutka, mainpuri and mawa and make all possible efforts to curb the menace in the society.

The court also directed a provincial law officer to submit a progress report regarding the legislation against the menace. The direction came at a hearing of identical petitions against the sale and manufacture of gutka and mainpuri in different districts of the province.

A division bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar observed that various orders had been passed by the court on different petitions with directions to the police officials to ensure that gutka, mainpuri, mawa and other injurious items were not sold in their respective territorial limits.

The court observed that the SHOs of the police stations were time and again directed to strictly enforce the court orders, but the petitioners’ counsel submitted that no steps were being taken by the police in their territorial limits and all such items dangerous to the health of public at large were being sold by different vendors and betel shops.

He submitted that the SSPs of the districts had been intimated about the selling of gutka and mainpuri, but no action had been taken; rather, such items were sold under the patronage of police personnel in different police stations’ limits.

The court observed that the selling of such injurious items was an alarming situation. It told the IGP as well as all the SSPs of the districts to ensure strict compliance and make all possible efforts to curb menace in the society. It directed the provincial law officer to also transmit the order of the court to the chief secretary and the commissioner of Karachi for their information and compliance.

The court directed the IGP to submit a progress report through his representative by September 27, warning that if no meaningful progress report was filed, then IGP would be called in person to ensure compliance.

The police had earlier filed a report mentioning that they were taking action against the manufacturers and sellers of gutka and mainpuri as well as following up on the cases. Police submitted that 920 cases had been registered since 2013 against the manufacturers and sellers of gutka and mainpuri and 1,338 had been arrested.

The police officer submitted that 848 cases were challaned, 441 people were convicted and 56 were acquitted.

The officer said that 351 cases were pending in trial courts and 72 were being investigated. The petitioner’s counsel said that after obtaining bail from the trial courts, the accused managed to get their seized gutka and mainpuri back from the police to resume their businesses.

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