Jammu and Kashmir High Court today sought the government’s view on banning liquor in the state as pleaded in a public interest litigation (PIL).
Admitting the PIL filed by a religious organisation Karwan-e-Islami, a division bench headed by Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar asked the state government to file its response by October 6.
The court also directed the government to spell out the steps taken by it for closure of liquor shops along the highways and near hospitals, educational institutes and religious places.
Karwan-e-Islami on Wednesday last submitted the PIL seeking a ban on sale and consumption of liquor in the state like in some other states of the country.
The organisation, through its chairman Sheikh Ghulam Rasool Hami, has sought the court’s intervention, claiming the government had failed to take the necessary steps for prohibition of sale and consumption of liquor.
“Alcohol is freely available at different places in the state and the common masses have easy access to such places,” said Hami, a resident of Kangan in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.
He said alcohol ruins an individual physically and mentally and he loses his sense of decency.
“Day in and day out, many humans lose their lives due to drunk-driving. Modesty of women folk is ravished and it has become one of the reasons for social disorder in the society,” he said.
“Article 38 of the 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,” he said.
He emphasized that it is the duty and obligation of the State to take necessary steps to curb the “menace of liquor which has far-reaching ill effects for the health and well-being of people of Jammu and Kashmir.”
The constitution of Jammu and Kashmir under section 24 makes it the duty of the State to improve and safeguard public health, Hami said, adding “This section further imposes obligation on the State of Jammu and Kashmir to curb sale and consumption of liquor.”
He said various states including Gujarat, Nagaland, Manipur, Union territory of Lakshadweep and Kerala have passed necessary laws for banning the sale and consumption of liquor. (Agencies)