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No ban on betel nuts under the law, Govt counsel tells court

KARACHI: A bench of the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday issued notice to the Sindh Food Authority while hearing a petition against seizing consignments of areca nuts (betel nuts) and registering cases, ARY News reported.

A high court bench comprised of 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.

Assistant Advocate General Sindh said in the court that the sale of nuts was 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. “Was the police not made aware that the areca nuts were not banned,” the Judge asked the government lawyer.

“The Police and investigation teams being made aware about the ordinance,” AAG told the court.

In a petition it was pleaded to the court that the police harassing traders by filing false cases against them.

The provincial government had promulgated an ordinance in March this year and informed the SHC regarding 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.

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