New Delhi: The Supreme Court has dismissed a petition seeking closure of liquor shops citing violation of social distancing norms. The lawyer who filed the petition has to pay a penalty of Rs 1 lakh as costs.
Justice L Nageswara Rao noted, “We cannot have multiple petitions like this. They are all publicity printed. We will impose costs.”
The apex court bench noted that this problem should be dealt with by the system and hence is not under the purview of Article 32 of the Indian Constitution. Article 32 of the Indian Constitution gives the right to individuals to move the Supreme Court to seek justice if and when they feel that any of their rights are unduly deprived.
This petitioner maintained that crowds at liquor shops are not following physical distancing norms and might lead to the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Hearing an earlier petition the Supreme Court had noted that states should consider online sale or home delivery of alcohol in keeping with social distancing norms. The Maharashtra government has already started home delivery. Both Delhi and Maharashtra governments have also introduced the e-token system for the purchasing of liquor online to prevent crowding.