Published On: Fri, May 15th, 2020

Supreme Court refuses to entertain plea seeking closure of liquor shops in Delhi

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a petition seeking directions for closure of liquor shops in the national capital claiming proper social distancing and other COVID-19 lockdown norms were not being maintained outside these shops.

Delhi government has also introduced an e-token system for the purchase of liquor in the national capital to prevent crowds from gathering outside these shops.

A bench of the apex court, headed by Justice L N Rao, dismissed the petition filed by one Gautam Singh. Justice Rao said that we have sufficient cases by public-spirited lawyers.

The petitioner said that the government guidelines for the coronavirus-induced lockdown put the onus on the liquor shops and gutka shops to maintain social distancing.

Singh said that the lockdown guidelines say these shops are to maintain social distancing, but added that it is not possible for the shop owners to maintain this.
Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, another judge in the bench, said that it is for the system to deal and not under Article 32 of the Constitution, which pertains to the right to move the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings.

“These petitions are for lack of work. Sorry, we can’t deal with these petitions,” the bench said.

This comes as large gatherings ensued outside liquor shops in the national capital flouting social distancing norms as they opened after over a month owing to the lockdown.

Notably, Delhi High Court has also asked the Centre and Delhi government to consider an online sale and home delivery of liquor in the city to prevent crowds at liquor shops, which can lead to further spread of coronavirus.

Delhi government has also introduced an e-token system for the purchase of liquor in the national capital to prevent crowds from gathering outside these shops.

ANI

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