KARACHI: Hearing a petition against seizure of consignments of areca nuts (betel nuts) and registration of cases, the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday issued notice to the Sindh Food Authority.A high court bench comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar heard the case. The court asked the petitioner’s lawyer to submit legal points in the court over action against betel nuts.
The assistant advocate general Sindh said in the court that the sale of nuts is not banned under the Gutka Ordinance, ” The mixture of betel nuts could be injurious to health,” he added.An investigation officer produced a bag of confiscated betel nuts in the court. Justice Mazhar got the bag opened and inspected areca nuts in it.“The case was registered four months after promulgation of the ordinance,” Justice Mazhar remarked. “Were the police not made aware that the areca nuts were not banned?” the judge asked the government lawyer.
“The police and investigation teams are being made aware of the ordinance,” the AAG told the court.The petition pleaded to the court that the police are harassing traders by filing false cases against them.The provincial government had promulgated an ordinance in March this year and informed the SHC regarding the ban on Gutka and other harmful substances.Gutka is a preparation of chewing tobacco made of crushed areca nut, tobacco, catechu, paraffin wax, slaked lime and sweet or savory flavourings. TLTP