A Public Interest Litigation has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking prohibition of liquor and other intoxicating drinks and drugs in all the states in spirit of the Article 47 read with the Article 21 of the Constitution. BJP leader and Delhi based lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay echoed concerns related to alcohol abuse and its ramifications on public health and safety.
Update: Supreme Court will hear the Plea on 30th September
The petitioner stated that the state was constitutionally obliged to protect human life and improve public health. It was prayed that the Right to health is an integral part of Right to life guaranteed under the Article 21 and Art 47 which levies the duty on the state to protect public health, should be implemented in letter and spirit by bringing about a ban on alcohol for its corrosive effects on human health and life. The petitioner stated that except for medicinal purposes, sale of liquor and intoxicating drinks and drugs must be prohibited completely or allowed with strict conditions for limiting its evil to the utmost.
In view of the rampant abuse of intoxicants, the petitioner also pleaded that the states be directed to create adequate awareness through school curriculum among students and designating a Health Day every month for educating people about its ill-effects on their lives.
The petition stated, “That in view of the Article 47 read with Article 21, the State is required to bring about prohibition of liquors and other intoxicating drinks and drugs, which are injurious to health. Imposing prohibition on trade of intoxicating liquor is to achieve the directive principles administrated in the Article 47.”
“Superior ideals envisaged under the Directive Principles of State Policy, from Article 38 to Article 47 cannot be achieved without complete ban on liquors and other intoxicating drinks and drugs,” it stated.
It was pointed out that the Supreme Court had earlier upheld legislations to check alcohol consumption and had held that it cannot be challenged for contravention of Art 19(g) of the constitution, for fundamental rights should be read in conjunction with the DPSPs and the Duties enshrined u/a 51A. He stated that states like Gujarat, Bihar have already prohibited liquor and other intoxicating drinks and drugs and crime rates have been decreased due to it and thus deserve similar implementation in every State.
The petitioner also highlighted the fact that alcohol was also at the root cause of several crimes, road accidents, poverty, unemployment etc apart from physical and mental hazards. It intends to be a voice for the economically weaker sections who are among the worst affected by ill-effects of alcohol consumption, but are incapable of accessing the courts themselves.
The petition prayed for implementation of the following-
Read the petition here.