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October 6, 2019

SHC seeks report on promulgation of law against sale of gutka, mainpuri

Karachi

October 6, 2019

The Sindh High Court has directed a provincial government secretary to file comments with regard to the promulgation of the law against the sale and manufacturing of gutka and mainpuri in the province.

The direction came on a petition against the sale and manufacture of gutka and mainpuri in various districts of the province.

Petitioner Muzamil Mumtaz submitted that sale and manufacturing of gutka and mainpuri were continuing in different parts of the city and other districts of the province despite clear directions of the court to initiate action against such manufacturers.

A division bench headed by Justice Salahuddin Panhwar observed that people were dying due to the consumption of such injurious things as gutka and mainpuri.

The court observed that the Sindh government was directed to make legislation to check the manufacture and sale of hazardous food items like gutka, mawa and mainpuri.

It said that one of the purposes of fixing the quantum of punishment was always creating a sense of fear and deterrence keeping in view of grave consequences of the use of gutka and mainpuri by people.

The court further observed that despite the lapse of a considerable time the directions were only shown to have been processed, adding that if the gravity of the issue requires immediate legislation, then the duty of the legislature becomes double and to avoid any unnecessary delay.

Law secretary Shariq Ahmed submitted that the proposed draft had been approved by the provincial cabinet and would be placed in the coming session of assembly, which was scheduled for Saturday. He sought further time for placing the same in the assembly.

The court took exception to the police performance and their failure to take appropriate action against the manufacturing and sale of gutka and mainpuri.

It observed that it had been informed by the petitioner that police were also patronising the gutka and mainpuri sellers. It told Sindh’s inspector general of police to submit a report on what action had been taken against the manufacturers and sellers of gutka and mainpuri as well as on whether police personnel were patronising the business in their respective areas.

The court observed that a crackdown against the sale and manufacturing of gutka and mainpuri would continue till its objectives were achieved.

The federal and provincial law officers undertook before the court that Section 337-J of the PPC would be inserted in all FIRs registered regarding the offence.

The court directed the IGP to convey all SHOs through SSPs that Section 337-J would be inserted in all cases related to the sale and manufacturing of gutka and mainpuri until new legislation.

It stated that since the status of such substances would be material for determination; therefore, the law enforcing agency would also ensure proper examination of such substances and report their effects on human body.

The court observed that the application of a section of penal offence does not mean conviction, but the trial on such charges at the end of the day may make the courts review of charged offence not proved or was inapplicable.

It directed the directions be conveyed to the judicial magistrates for information so as to examine the application of relevant provisions of penal offences even in pending cases because the relevant provisions, including 337-J PPC, were always available on chest of code.

Missing persons

The Sindh High Court has directed the secretary interior to submit a report with regard to the detention of missing persons at internment centres at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Hearing a petition of Nazeer Ahmed against the enforced disappearance of his son, Imran Qureshi, the court observed that the court had directed the interior secretary to file a report on rthe detention of missing persons at internment centres at KP, but no compliance with order had been made so far.

The federal law officer submitted that the interior secretary was still pursuing the case of the detainee and information had been called from the KP government with regard to the detention of the detainee at any internment centre in KP and a report was awaited.

The court directed the federal law officer to submit a report with regard to the detention of missing persons at internment centres within one month.

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