CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has set aside an order, dated September 14, 2015 of the Central Bureau of Narcotics in Gwalior dividing the importers of poppy seeds (khaza khaza) for cooking purpose into ‘A’ and ‘B’ categories and fixing ceiling on import quantity, along with certain other conditions.
While the ‘A’ category merchants, who have been importing poppy seeds from Turkey for at least three financial years during the last five financial years, can import 270 MT, all others falling under the ‘B’ category can import only 180 MT of poppy seeds. Importers of the B category will have to wait for their chance, subject to the availability of the seeds after exhausting the requirement of A category traders, the order said.
Justice MM Sundresh set aside the order, while allowing a writ petition filed by Sri Adinath Traders in Sowcarpet on February 5. The petitioner’s counsel B Sathish Sundar submitted that hitherto the allotments were made on ‘first come first served basis’. The new order violated Articles 14 and 19(1)(g) of the Constitution. There is no level playing field as it will lead to trading by the ‘A’ category importers with the ‘B’ category traders, Sundar added.