SC Rejects PIL For Countrywide Liquor Ban Saying “Can’t Interfere In Policy Matters”

SC Rejects PIL For Countrywide Liquor Ban Saying “Can’t Interfere In Policy Matters”


“There are reports which say minimal consumption...up to some limit is good for the heart..like red wine”, the bench told petitioner who countered it saying there is also another report that even a small quantity affects nearly 20 organs of the body and causes several diseases.


The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain the plea of a Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Delhi-based lawyer Ashwani Upadhaya’s, seeking a complete ban on liquor across the nation saying “these were policy matters in which a court could not interfere”

“We see no merit in it”, a bench of Justices A K Sikri and N V Ramana told Upadhyay after which he withdrew the petition

“There are reports which say minimal consumption...up to some limit is good for the heart..like red wine”, the bench told the petitioner who countered it saying there is also another report that even a small quantity affects nearly 20 organs of the body and causes several diseases

In his petition, the BJP leader said the use of alcohol should be restricted to medical purposes and sale of liquor and intoxicating drinks and drugs must be prohibited completely or allowed with strict conditions.

In his petition, Upadhyay also said that liquor is the root cause of most road accidents, road rages, crime against women, domestic violence, rape and murder and many other social evils.

Upadhyaya wanted total prohibition in spirit of the Article 47 read with the Article 21 of the Constitution. He echoed concerns related to alcohol abuse and its ramifications on public health and safety.

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- issue a direction or order or writ, including writ in the nature of mandamus or such other writ, order or direction as may be necessary; directing the respondents to take steps for prohibition of liquor and other intoxicating drinks and drugs in spirit of the Article 47 read with Article 21 of the Constitution of India; issue a direction or order or writ, including writ in the nature of mandamus or such other writ, order or direction as may be necessary; directing the respondents to declare ‘first Sunday’ of every month as ‘Health Day’ for educating the people about ill-effects of cigarette, tobacco, liquors and other intoxicating drinks and harmful drugs in spirit of the Article 21 read with Article 47 of the Constitution; issue a direction or order or writ, including writ in the nature of mandamus or such other writ, order or direction as may be necessary; directing the respondents to have a chapter on “ill-effects of cigarette, tobacco, liquors and other intoxicating drinks and drugs” in curriculum of the children aged 6 to 14 years and allow cost to petitioner.