11 Feb 2022 9:15 AM GMT
A PIL filed in the Bombay High Court challenges the Maharashtra Cabinet's recent decision to the to permit the sale of wine in supermarkets and walk-in stores through 'self-purchase'. The petition filed by Sandip Kusalkar, who runs NGO for empowering the youth, states that the Maharashtra Government's decision is contrary to its de-addiction policy and a Government Resolution...
A PIL filed in the Bombay High Court challenges the Maharashtra Cabinet's recent decision to the to permit the sale of wine in supermarkets and walk-in stores through 'self-purchase'.
The petition filed by Sandip Kusalkar, who runs NGO for empowering the youth, states that the Maharashtra Government's decision is contrary to its de-addiction policy and a Government Resolution (GR) issued on August 17, 2011 to curb proliferation addictions in youth.
The decision "will sell wine to popularize and to familiarize the alcohol and alcohol consumption in masses of the state. This very objective of the Cabinet Decision is defeating the aim and object of de-glamorizing the alcohol consumption and negating the status acquired for alcohol consumption under the De- addiction policy mentioned in the said GR."
The PIL thus seeks to declare the January 27 cabinet decision as "illegal" and "unconstitutional" and for it to be quashed and set aside. Further, the pleas for the decision to be stayed in the interim.
The Cabinet took the decision to permit self-purchase of wine from super markets and walk-in stores beyond 100 square meters on January 27, 2022. Till rules regarding the same are notified, only registered wine stores are permitted to sell wine.
This decision is not applicable to districts like Wardha and Gadchiroli, covered under prohibition orders.
"The said GR of 2011 speaks of efforts to be taken to discourage people from indulging in drinking habits and more importantly to de-glorify social status gained for alcohol consumption. It also speaks of duties of Gram Sabha in propagation for policy of de-addiction, and about formation and working of de-addiction committees throughout Maharashtra," the plea states.
It adds that the Cabinet decision is directly contrary to the resolve of the government itself and speaks loudly about making available an elaborate market for wine products and effective marketing for wine in Maharashtra and popularise wine drinking in the state.
The petitioner has further said that allowing "self-in shop" method, without any supervision would make monitoring license for consumption and its adherence impossible despite being prescribed under 2011 GR.
"The policy abides by the Maharashtra Prohibition Act 1949z and directive under Article 47 of the constitution which casts a duty on the state to make an endeavour to bring about prohibition on the consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs which are injurious to health and also to improve the standard of loving," the plea stated.
It added, "The decision only bars supermarkets/walk-in-stores near educational institutions and religious places from selling wine. The stipulation does not include other institutions like social institutions, government offices, parks, hospitals, libraries, state and national highways. It will not only make alcohol available in plenty, but it will create loopholes for those who want to bypass the legal bar on sale of alcohol near such institutions."