Wine Traders Vs Kashmir based Religious groups: Plea filed in SC to remove liquor ban

Srinagar, January 13: Against the State High Court orders regarding the closure of wine shops located, members of Jammu Wine Traders Association moved Supreme Court filing a Special Leave Petition.

The deadline for the closure of wine shops along the state highways was set for December, 2015 after an appeal by religious groups in Kashmir

The decision for closure of wine shops along the state or national highways was made after a petition filed by the chairman Sheikh Ghulam Rasool of a Kashmir-based religious organisation, Karwan-i-Islami in October last year challenging the Article 47 of the Constitution of India and Section 24 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. The article says that it is mandatory for the state government to make every effort to safeguard and promote the health of the people and curb the sale and consumption of liquor which is responsible for deteriorating public health.

However the state government in the reply of the petition submitted that it is impossible to order total prohibition on the sale of liquor in the state. But the owners of the liquor shops operating on the state as well as national highways in J&K were asked to relocate the outlets. The government had also submitted that wine shops could not operate near schools and religious places.

After the decision of High Court, notices have been issued to the proprietors of 40 liquor shops are located on national highways to shift their retail outlets to some other places within three months.

After an SLP filed by wine trader, separate notices have been issued to a Kashmir-based religious organisations and the J&K Government to file their objection for the petition seeking stay over the high court orders. One of the lawyers associated with the petition, Mudasir Naqshbandi, said that the  SLP filed by Jammu wine traders would be opposed in which the wine traders have sought vacation of the high court orders.

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