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"This Is A Policy Matter": Supreme Court Refuses To Entertain Plea On Regulation Of Alcoholic Drinks

Padmakshi Sharma
23 Sep 2022 6:57 AM GMT
This Is A Policy Matter: Supreme Court Refuses To Entertain Plea On Regulation Of Alcoholic Drinks

The Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice U.U. Lalit, Justices Ravindra Bhat and Indira Banerjee refused to entertain plea filed by BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Upadhyay seeking to prohibit or regulate the production, distribution and consumption of intoxicating drinks in the State of NCT Delhi.

At the outset, the bench noted that the matter pertained to policy making and was not something which the court needed to adjudge upon.

However, Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay pressed further and stated that he was asking for a limited relief of there being mandatory warning labels on alcoholic drinks just as there were labels on Cigarette packets. He stated–

"(Alcoholic) Drinks are as harmful as cigarettes. Cigarettes are also not in Constitution but there are warning labels on it. I'm seeking a limited relief that on drinks too a warning label should be there...I hope it will help people, particularly youth."

However, the bench was not convinced with the submission and reiterated that it was a policy matter and advised Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay to withdraw the petition or else the bench would dismiss it. CJI Lalit further remarked–

"Some people say that drinks taken in small quantities can be good for health. Noone says that about cigarettes. It's a policy matter, please understand."

The petitioner sought liberty to withdraw the matter and approach the Law Commission. No liberty to approach the Law Commission was granted but liberty to withdraw the petition was granted.

CASE TITLE: Ashwini Kumar v UOI & Ors W.P.(C) No. 649/2020 PIL

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