KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) recently issued a verdict directing police officials to charge Gutka sellers under Section 337A of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). On Tuesday, a two-member bench comprising Justice Salahuddin Panhwar and Justice Shamsuddin Abbasi sought details of mouth cancer patients and others affected by gutka consumption while hearing a petition against gutka sellers. Petitioner Naseem Haider’s counsel, advocate Muzzammil Mumtaz Mayo, argued that the police arrested gutka sellers but the magistrate declared the case bailable. The police should be directed to operate against gutka sellers, he said. JPMC Cancer Ward In-charge Dr Haider said that 100 out of 300 patients are suffering from mouth cancer. He told the court that mouth cancer was increasing among youngsters due to the consumption of gutka and mainpuri. “It is a serious issue if 70 per cent of the patients are suffering from mouth cancer. It is the reason why we have ordered that Section 337A be applied in cases pertaining to Gutka,” noted the bench. The court adjourned hearing till today (Wednesday).
Published in The Express Tribune, October 9th, 2019.