SRINAGAR: The Division Bench of Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the government over a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking blanket ban on sale of alcohol in Jammu and Kashmir.
The court was hearing a writ petition challenging the free sale and consumption of liquor in Muslim majority state and asked the state to file its response within one week.
The court asked the state government, including the Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary to file status report regarding the steps taken for closure of liquor shops situated near highways, hospitals, educational institutions and religious places within a week.
The division bench comprising of Justice Ali Muhammad Magray and chief Justice Kumar Vassannta Patil while seeking a response from the State Government has also directed the state to clarify its stand on why the liquor business is being allowed to flourish outside religious places, educational institutions and on Highways. The petition was filed by socio-religious leader Maulana Ghulam Rasool Hami, who heads Karwan-e-Islami, a religious organization.
“The government has to file its reply within one week. The case has been listed for next hearing on October 6 next month, Advocate Mudasir Naqashbanghi, lawyer of the petitioner said.
Hami has said in his petition that section 24 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir provides that the state shall make every effort to safeguard and promote the health of the people.
This section imposes obligation on the state to curb sale and consumption of liquor, which is responsible for deterioration of public health, he pleaded.
He further had pleaded: Article 38 of constitution of India imposes obligation on states to secure a social order for the promotion of welfare of people and same cannot be achieved without good public health, adding: It is the bounden duty and obligation of the state to take necessary steps to curb the menace of liquor.
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