Sindh authorities once again ordered to enforce ban on gutkaArchive
KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday directed the provincial authorities for the umpteenth time to immediately enforce the ban on manufacture and sale of mainpuri and gutka — the chewable forms of tobacco — across the province.
A two-judge bench also directed the respondent authorities to file a comprehensive and detailed report regarding the actions taken to curb the menace believed to be one of the major causes of mouth ulcer and cancer among their users.
The bench was hearing a constitutional petition against mainpuri and gutka filed by Rana Faizul Hasan, a civil rights campaigner and secretary general of the United Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
The petitioner had sought enforcement of the Food Ordinance 1960 and the Pure Food Rules of 1965 that restricted the manufacture, sale and purchase of substances injurious to human health.
The judges directed the chief secretary, the home and health secretaries, the Pakistan Standard Quality and Control Authority, provincial and city police chiefs and the city administration to ensure effective and stringent enforcement of the court’s earlier order.
While concluding the public interest litigation, the court had on Nov 8, 2012 passed the orders for enforcing a ban on manufacture and sale of these smokeless forms of tobacco.
On Wednesday, the petitioner told the judges that the respondent authorities had not only failed to take any action against those involved in the menace, but they were also silent on the issue as they received bribes of millions of rupees from the factories owners. He said that the ban on mainpuri and gutka was not being enforced, although the provincial assembly passed a bill to this effect.
The bench directed the provincial government law officer to place on record the copy of the legislation made to enforce the ban on gutka.
The civil rights campaigner had submitted in his petition that more than 80 factories were manufacturing gutka and mainpuri in the city.
He said that various ingredients used in making chewing tobacco were mostly of inferior quality and contained highly toxic chemicals.
He asked the court to order the respondents to strictly implement the provisions of the law.
The hearing was adjourned to a date to be later pronounced by the court’s office.
KU land case
A division bench directed the respondent authorities to place on record the master plan of 650 acres belonging to the University of Karachi.
According to the university administration, the impugned land was allotted to the university in 1965 and later it was illegally occupied by the revenue department.
The bench put off matter to Sept 22 and directed the two parties to file their final argument on the next date.
Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2015
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