Report sought on action against policemen patronising gutka sale in Sindh
KARACHI: The Sindh High Court has directed the inspector general of police (IGP) to file comments on a petition asking police high-ups to take action against their subordinates over manufacturing and sale of gutka and mainpuri in their jurisdictions.
A non-governmental organisation had petitioned the SHC in 2021 stating that the court had passed several directives to police to curb the menace of gutka and mainpuri, but the police were not complying with the court orders.
A two-judge bench headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto directed the IGP to file parawise comments till April 10.
The petitioner sought directives for the IGP and other senior police officers to take departmental action against SHOs of 18 police stations and SPs of Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Jamshed Town, Sohrab Goth areas for deliberately violating court orders.
The petitioner also asked the court to order police high-ups to submit intelligence reports about the number of factories running and manufacturing gutka and mainpuri in district East and its alleged sale under the umbrella of SHOs and head moharars.
Earlier, on a set of identical petitions, the SHC had ordered action against police officers after it came on record that several of them were supporting the business of gutka and mainpuri.
On the directive of the SHC, the provincial government had enacted a law — The Sindh Prohibition, Manufacturing, Storage, Sale and Use of Gutka and Mainpuri Act, 2019 — declaring use, sale and manufacturing of gutka and mainpuri as cognizable offences. After promulgation of the law, thousands of FIRs had been registered under the act, but the trials resulted in the acquittal of the accused due to defective investigation and inconsistent and contradictory evidence on part of the prosecution.
Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2023