HC directs airports, seaports to display list of banned items | india | Hindustan Times
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HC directs airports, seaports to display list of banned items

Madras High Court has directed the Centre to prominently display at airports and seaports around the country that items like poppy seeds, betel leaves and their derivatives are banned in Middle East countries.

india Updated: Dec 04, 2009 22:45 IST

Madras High Court has directed the Centre to prominently display at airports and seaports around the country that items like poppy seeds, betel leaves and their derivatives are banned in Middle East countries.

Passing the order on a PIL filed by advocate V Nandakumar, a division bench comprising Justices Prabha Sridevan and M Satyanarayanan told the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) to also use local languages of respective states in the displays.

The board informed the court that it had directed its field staff at airports and seaports to put up displays indicating that items like poppy seeds and betel leaves and their derivatives are banned in Middle East.

The petitioner had pointed out that when he had visited Abu Dhabi in August 2004, he saw a report in newspapers that a graphic designer from Bangalore was sentenced to eight-year imprisonment for possessing 'khas khas' (poppy seeds).

He also said a couple from Gujarat on Haj was arrested on December 31, 2005 at Jeddha International Airport in Saudi Arabia for carrying 250 gm poppy seeds. They were later released on the intervention of the Indian High Commission at Jeddha after serving 56 days in jail.

The High Court had suo motu impleaded the Union Finance Ministry, Shipping Ministry and the CBEC in the petition.

Fearing that more people could be arrested for carrying items like 'khas khas', which is used as an ingredient in cooking certain dishes, the advocate had moved the High Court.