Consuming liquor in private place without causing nuisance not an offence, says Kerala High Court

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Updated: November 16, 2021 6:52 PM

Delivering the verdict, Justice Sophy Thomas ordered quashing of the FIR against 38-year-old government servant Salim Kumar.

Kumar had approached the court seeking to quash of the FIR filed against him in 2013. (PTI)

The Kerala High Court has ruled that consuming liquor in a private place without causing nuisance or annoyance to anybody cannot be an offence. The court also said that the mere smell of alcohol cannot construe that the person was intoxicated. The High Court gave the verdict in a case involving a government servant.

“Consuming liquor in a private place without causing nuisance or annoyance to anybody will not attract any offence. The mere smell of alcohol also cannot be construed to mean that the person was intoxicated or was under the influence of any liquor,” said the Kerala High Court said in its order issued on November 10.

Delivering the verdict, Justice Sophy Thomas ordered quashing of the FIR against 38-year-old government servant Salim Kumar. Kumar had approached the court seeking to quash of the FIR filed against him in 2013. Police had registered a case under Section 118 (A) of the Kerala Police (KP) Act against Kumar, saying when he was called to the station to identify an accused, he was under the influence of alcohol, reported the PTI.

Kumar has said in his plea that the Police had called him at seven in the evening to identify an accused, against whom a case was registered under Section 353 of IPC and Section 20 of the Kerala Protection of River Banks and Regulation of Removal of Sand Act (for short ‘the Sand Act’). He further said that since the accused was a stranger, he could not identify him. Following this, police registered this crime under KP Act. Section 118 (A) of the KP Act deals with the penalty for causing a grave violation of public order or danger.

The court noted that in order to attract an offence punishable under the said section of the KP Act, a person should be found in a public place in an intoxicated manner or rioting condition, incapable of looking after himself.

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