A plea has been moved in the Delhi High Court seeking directions to the Delhi Government to control the huge crowds lining outside liquor shops and to maintain social distancing at such places.
Moved by Advocates Simran Kohli and Abheehshek Bhagat, the petition proposes that the government can propose a policy where liquor can be delivered through tokens or is delivered through online orders placed by the consumers.
The Petitioners inform that post the opening up of liquor shops after 45 days, hundreds of people thronged outside such liquor shops, violating social distancing norms. This also led to police using mild force to disperse the crowd.
The petition states:
'People could be seen crowding and jostling at the shops. This led to many shops being ordered to be shut by the Delhi Police. This has brought forth the inadequate planning on the part of the excise department. Seeing the number of shops it is impossible to provide police deployment at every shop. Further, the efforts of the Delhi Police have been proved to be a failure in handling the thronging crowd.'
While highlighting the dangerous situation outside liquor shops, the Petitioners also argue that shutting down of such shops would be counter-productive, as the sale of liquor is a major source of revenue for the states.
Therefore, they submit that the government can consider initiating an online delivery system for liquor, with adequate age-verification checks, as the same is also not prohibited by the Delhi Excise Act.
Apart from online delivery, the Petitioners have suggested that the government can also consider a token system. Under the token system, a person can buy liquor online and generate a token number. Later, he can go at the given time and get liquor.
The Petitioners also suggest that the government can limit the delivery timings and quantity limits, as it deems fit. In addition to this, 3-4 movement passes can be provided to liquor shops to enable delivery personnel to carry out their task.