SHC wants crackdown on gutka, mainpuri trade sped up

Updated February 11, 2020

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The Sindh High Court on Monday directed the provincial police officer to gear up the ongoing crackdown on the manufacture and sale of gutka and mainpuri in the province. — Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons/File
The Sindh High Court on Monday directed the provincial police officer to gear up the ongoing crackdown on the manufacture and sale of gutka and mainpuri in the province. — Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons/File

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Monday directed the provincial police officer to gear up the ongoing crackdown on the manufacture and sale of gutka and mainpuri in the province.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro also asked the provincial authorities to file a conclusive report about the status of legislation to curb the menace of gutka and mainpuri.

On Monday, a provincial law officer again informed the bench that the provincial assembly had already passed the Sindh Prohibition of Preparation, Manufacturing, Storage, Sale and use of Gutka and Manpuri Bill, 2019 and it was sent to the governor for his assent. The provincial authorities had furnished an identical report about the legislation at the earlier hearing as well.

The bench also directed the police to inform it on March 3 about the details of operations conducted and FIRs registered against the manufacture and sale of gutka, mainpuri and mawa in the province.

In the past, the SHC had directed the provincial authorities for legislation on gutka and mainpuri with the observation that the existing laws about punishment for manufacturing and selling gutka and mainpuri should be enhanced as the culprits involved in such crimes were being booked under the British-era laws and set free merely after imposing minor penalties on them.

On a petition of a lawyer seeking action against the manufacture and sale of the harmful substances, contending that the police were doing nothing against them, the SHC had also ordered the provincial police officer to launch a province-wide crackdown on the menace of gutka, mainpuri and other injurious items.

Woman’s life term upheld in narcotics case

Another division bench of the SHC upheld life imprisonment awarded to a woman by the trial court in a narcotic substances case.

A special court for control of narcotic substances had sentenced Fauzia Bano to life in prison in July 2015 for carrying 12 kilograms of heroin and ice in December 2012 in Shah Faisal Colony.

Through her lawyer, she challenged the conviction before the SHC and after hearing both sides and examining the record and proceedings, the two-judge bench headed by Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha dismissed the appeal and maintained the trial court verdict.

The bench in its judgement observed that the arrest and recovery was made on the spot, the FIR was also registered on time and there was no major contradiction in the evidence of prosecution witnesses while the seized narcotics were sent for chemical analysis without any delay and the chemical report was found positive.

Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2020