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Strict legal action to be taken against gutka sellers, orders Sindh High Court

From now on strict legal action will be taken against gutka sellers in Sindh, as per Sindh High Court orders.

On Tuesday, the Sindh High Court (SHC) has ordered cases to be registered against those selling gutka under Section 337-A (shajjah, intentionally causing hurt) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Justice Panhwar has ordered to seal the gutka, mainpuri and mawa factories in the city and criticized police officials allegedly involved in making millions from the gutka trade.

Petitioner Advocate Muzammil Mumtaz had argued against the police registering cases for the sale of harmful substances under Section 336 of the PPC, which is a bailable offence, during the hearing of a petition against the use of mainpuri and gutka by a two-member SHC bench headed by Justice Salahuddin Panhwar.

He further added that this practice was the reason why gutka manufactures and sellers got out of jail so quickly and resumed gutka selling business with impunity.

Advocate Mumtaz also alleged that despite the court ordering a complete ban on the sale of gutka and mainpuri in Karachi, it was being sold openly and with the police involvement.

The hearing will resume tomorrow. The bench has requested the doctors to also take part in proceedings when the court will look into recommendations for legislation.

Last week, the bench had directed provincial authorities to furnish a report by Oct 8 regarding legislation against the manufacture and sale of gutka and mainpuri in Sindh.

During proceedings today, both the health department and police officials were present in court to answer questions.

In today’s hearing, Dr. Ghulam Haider testified that the Jinnah Hospital’s Outpatient Department (OPD) received over 300 cancer cases daily, of which 70 percent comprised mouth cancer patients.

Saman Siddiqui

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