The petition by NGO, Civil Safety Council of India, challenged the Delhi government and its Excise Department's decision to open liquor shops in the city from Tuesday “without any planning and crowd management”.
A PIL was filed in the Delhi High Court on Wednesday seeking direction to the AAP government to close liquor shops here until the coronavirus pandemic is under control. The plea was mentioned for an urgent hearing and it is likely to be listed on May 8.
The petition by NGO, Civil Safety Council of India, challenged the Delhi government and its Excise Department’s decision to open liquor shops in the city from Tuesday “without any planning and crowd management”.
The plea, filed through advocate Arvind Vashistha, said the people of Delhi are facing complete lockdown for the last so many days but the May 3 notification regarding opening of liquor shops has failed the whole system, set up by the state, and it is going waste and putting the life of citizens in danger.
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“Liquor consumption is not in consonance with the directive principles of state policy, under which improving public health is among the primary duties of the state. This would include prohibition of intoxicating drinks and drugs which are injurious to health,” the plea said.
It said due to this decision, a large number of persons have lined up outside liquor shops in the city for the second consecutive day, when they were re-opened after a 40-day dry spell because of the coronavirus lockdown.
The plea said that on May 4, the authorities imposed a ‘special corona fees’ of 70 per cent tax on MRP of all liquor brands but even then the public gathered at outside liquor shops in huge number without following the social distancing guidelines.
“Instead of closing the shops, the government increased the tax on it but the situation is the same,” it said, adding that the steps taken by the Delhi government will be more critical and there are full chances of increase in coronavirus or COVID-19 cases.