LAHORE: Prices of essential food items have gone up with the advent of the fasting month of Ramazan. A petition seeking action against hoarding and rising prices of essential commodities was filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC) by the Judicial Activism Panel that sought directives for the relevant authorities to bring down the prices and check hoarding in an effective manner. The petition states that prices of basic food items have gone up besides hoarding of goods to create shortages in markets. A new law has been brought in by the provincial government to check overpricing and hoarding, it said. The law has been ineffective, due to which prices of goods are skyrocketing, the petitioner contended, pleading with the high court to direct the authorities concerned to take measures in this regard. Earlier, on April 22, the Punjab government had introduced an ordinance to curb hoarding of essential commodities and punish the perpetrators. Under the ordinance, hoarders, if found guilty, will face a fine and imprisonment of up to three years. The ordinance states that the items recovered from the hoarders will be auctioned and the deputy commissioners would be authorised to check the stock of items.