Buai ban case to go for hearing

A special Supreme Court reference that was filed by the people of Mekeo-Kuni LLG in the Kairuku-Hiri District of Central Province, seeking interpretation on the validity of the NCDC Betelnut Control Law 2013, will go for hearing.

This follows Justice Allan David’s ruling on the disputed facts which will be deliberated on by the full court.

The betelnut control law of 2013 was created under the NCDC Act to regulate the selling of betelnut in the nation’s capital, in its bid to change the attitude of city residents.

However, a law that was meant for NCDC has gone beyond the borders of NCDC, affecting the people of Central Province, in particular, the Mekeo-Kuni LLG people of Kairuku, who are large-scale growers of betelnut.

Being subject to police abuse along their highways at roadblocks by NCDC based police officers, the people of the Mekeo-Kuni LLG filed a special Supreme Court reference on 31 July 2015, for the court to interpret the betelnut control law.

But before the court could hear the case, facts had to be settled which the court will decide on.

Justice Allan David, sitting as a single Supreme Court judge on Friday, gave his findings on those facts.

There was no proper consultation between NCDC and the people of Mekeo-Kuni regarding the law, with its enforcement going beyond the borders of NCDC.

As a result the large-scale growers of betelnut had their economic livelihood affected.

These facts will go before the full court for hearing at a time and date to be set. 

NCDC and Parliament Speaker are parties who joined this case as interveners.

(Betelnut filepic)

Sally Pokiton