Sindh High Court (SHC), on Monday, adjourned the hearing of a petition seeking a ban on the sale and manufacture of Gutka in Karachi.The bench was hearing two petitions in this regard. One was filed by a cancer patient, Naseem Hyder, requesting the court to ban Gutka while the other was submitted by Gutka dealers. In light of the common grounds of the petitions, the court had clubbed them together.As the hearing went underway, Justice Hassan Azhar asked a Gutka seller, “Are you unaware that Gutka is hazardous for health and causing mouth cancer?” The bench further observed, “How can the court grant you permission to sell this dangerous thing.”The counsel of Hyder argued before the court that his client was suffering from cancer and struggling for his life. He was said to hang between life and death. He pleaded to the court to impose a ban on the manufacture and sale of Gutka in the city.The court dismissed the hearing for an indefinite period. In another case, last December, the court had directed Sindh Advocate General, Law Secretary and others to file comments with regard to the promulgation of the law, which banned the sale and manufacture of Gutka and Mainpuri in the province.The court had issued these directives while hearing a petition against sale and manufacture of Gutka and Mainpuri in Thatta district. The court was approached by Thatta police with a compliance report about a campaign launched against Gutka and Mainpuri sellers and manufacturers and the legal action taken against them in the district. The court had observed that the manufacture and sale of Gutka and Mainpuri was, indeed, a serious issue.Since no proper legislation had been made in this regard, the bench maintained, perpetrators felt free to continue playing with the lives of people, especially youth. They were said to have believed that even if caught, they would be freed either after paying a small amount as fine or facing confinement for a few days.Gutka is a chewing preparation made of tobacco along with crushed areca nut; catechu; paraffin wax; slaked lime and sweet or savoury flavourings.