Liquor Kills More People, Hope State Govt. Will Bring Back Liquor Prohibition, Says Madras HC
"The Father of the Nation fought for prohibition throughout his life. There is no meaning in calling "Mahatma Gandhi" as "Father of our Nation" without following his core principle "Prohibition"."
In a judgment delivered on Monday, the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court has expressed hope that the Tamil Nadu Government would take appropriate measures to bring back prohibition, which was in force from 1937 to 1971 in the State.
There is no meaning in calling "Mahatma Gandhi" as "Father of our Nation" without following his core principle "Prohibition", said Justice N. Kirubakaran observing that Gandhi had fought for prohibition throughout his life.
The judge was considering an appeal filed by Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation against an award passed by Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal. The Tribunal had fixed the negligence on the part of the driver of the Transport Corporation bus for the death of a person who was trying to cross the road.
The court went eloquent about prohibition after the state counsel took a contention that the deceased after taking liquor from TASMAC shop under intoxication suddenly tried to cross the road, without any control, thereby invited the fatal accident. The Judge said:
"It is being said that 70% of the accidents are caused only because of either drunken driving or by intoxication. It is more than the persons who died out of the diseases or any other causes"
The court also observed that, given this statistics, no effective steps are taken either by the Central or State Governments in consonance of the Articles 47 of the Constitution of India. The judge also criticized the Government for selling 'dangerous liquid', just for sake of raising revenue. Justice Kirubakaran said:
"It is a fact on record that many people are dying or injured due to drunken driving but also the dependants of those persons are lost because of this "dangerous liquid" that too being sold by the Government for the purpose of money violating Article 21 of Constitution of India. It is sad to note that the Government itself is doing this unwarranted business only for the sake of raising revenue instead of going for alternative revenues, like, additional tax or new taxation for the purpose of extra revenue. The business of the Government would endanger people's lives."
However, after considering the case on merits, the court observed that there is no evidence to show that the deceased was under the influence of alcohol. It also noted that the postmortem certificate does not reveal the intoxication of the deceased. While dismissing the appeal filed by the state, the court also enhanced the enhanced the compensation awarded to claimants to Rupees Thirteen Lakhs.