PIL on liquor ban

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HC Grants Week’s Time to Govt. for Reply

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday granted the State government week’s time to file response in light of its order last week on a public interest litigation seeking ban on sale and consumption of liquor in the state.

Hearing the PIL filed by Karwan-e-Islami, through its chairman Sheikh Ghulam Rasool Hami, a division bench of the court comprising Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice A M Magrey granted the time till October 14 after a request for the same by advocate general Jahangir Iqbal Ganie.   

Last week, the division bench had observed that a prohibition on the sale of liquor in state was a policy decision for the government to take.

Besides seeking the closure of liquor shops and such establishments, the PIL also seeks the rehabilitation of those involved in the business as well as providing necessary counseling to alcohol addicts.

Karwan-e-Islam has sought the court’s intervention claiming that the government has failed to take necessary steps for banning liquor in the state. “Alcohol is freely available at different places in the state and the common masses have easy access to such places,” Hami stated in the PIL, filed through advocates Firdous Ahmad Parray and Mudasir Naqshbandi.

“Alcohol ruins an individual physically and mentally. The addict loses his sense of decency,” said Hami. Referring to Part-IV of the Indian Constitution under Article 47, he said the states must endeavor to bring about prohibition of consumption, except for medicinal purposes, of intoxicating drinks and drugs which are injurious to health. “Article 38 of the Constitution of India also imposes an obligation on states to secure a social order for the promotion of welfare of people and the same cannot be achieved without good public health,” he added.

The Constitution of J&K, under Section 24, he said, also makes it the state’s duty to improve and safeguard public health. “This section further imposes an obligation on the state of Jammu and Kashmir to curb the sale and consumption of liquor.” Invoking M K Gandhi, Hami said that the Indian father of the nation had spoken against the use of income from the sale of intoxicants on education and public services leave alone the consumption of alcohol. gns

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