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Delhi HC allows withdrawal of plea seeking prohibition of intoxicating drinks, drugs

In the plea, BJP leader and Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay contended that the Delhi government has been granting licenses to open liquor shops

IANS | New Delhi |

The Delhi High Court on Monday “dismissed as withdrawn” a plea seeking directions to prohibit or control intoxicating drinks and drugs in the national capital and also to publish health warnings on liquor bottles similar to cigarette packets.

In the plea, BJP leader and Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay contended that the Delhi government has been granting licenses to open liquor shops not only in residential areas and main markets but also near hospitals, schools, and temples under the garb of providing easy access to liquor shops.

After his submissions, a division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad granted the liberty for Upadhyay to withdraw the plea and file a detailed fresh petition comprising details of such liquor shops violating Delhi Excise Act, 2019.

The court said: “The writ petition is dismissed as withdrawn with the aforesaid liberty.”

According to the plea, Delhi has a total of 280 municipal wards and until 2015, there were only 250 liquor shops, that is, on an average, one liquor shop in every ward and 30 wards without liquor shops. But now the state is planning to open three liquor shops in every ward, which is not only arbitrary and irrational but also offends rule of law and the right to health guaranteed under Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution.

The plea said to advertise ‘Health and Environment Hazard’ of intoxicating drinks through electronic, print, and social media in order to secure citizen’s right to know, right to information and right to health.

It further alleged that rather than taking steps to prohibit/control the production, distribution, and consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs, the State government has made Delhi as ‘Liquor Capital of India’.