Delhi High Court Rejects Appeal Seeking ‘Health and Environmental Hazard’ Warnings on Liquor Bottles – Here’s Why
On July 4, the Delhi High Court rejected a plea filed by lawyer and BJP spokesperson Ashwini Upadhyay, which called on the Delhi government to control the production, distribution and consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs. , which are detrimental to health.
The plea stated that alcohol is hazardous to health and affects the right to live in a clean, hygienic and safe environment protected by Section 21 of the Constitution. It was further alleged that under the guise of facilitating access to liquor stores, the Delhi government granted licenses to open liquor stores not only in residential areas and major markets but also near hospitals, schools and temples which is contrary to the provisions as contained in the Delhi Excise Act 2019 as reported by Live Law.
Petitioner Ashwini Upadhyay went on to say that the Delhi government’s new decision to open three liquor stores in one neighborhood is not only arbitrary and irrational but also violates the rule of law and the right to health guaranteed by Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution. He insisted on article 47, which says that the state is obliged to prohibit the consumption of alcohol and drugs.
The petitioner wanted the government to issue health warnings on liquor bottles and packaging similar to cigarette packs. The plea added that the “health and environmental risk” of intoxicating beverages should be publicized through electronic, print and social media to ensure the citizen’s right to know, the right to information and the right to health, guaranteed by article 21 of the constitution, according to reports.
The petitioner argued that the government should carry out a health impact assessment and an environmental impact assessment of the production, distribution and consumption of intoxicating liquor and drugs in the spirit of articles 21 and 47.
What did the High Court say?
Delhi Government Permanent Advocate Santosh Kumar Tripathi told the bench that every bottle of liquor bore the warnings and that the PIL was filed without proper research and study.
The divisional bench consisting of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said the warnings the petitioner pleads for cannot be put in place on the wishes of an individual.
“What your prayer is, is already in the excise rules. I’ve gone through the excise rules, and I’m told that every bottle has this warning. All specifications are provided under the rules. The law is there and everyone must follow It’s not that I think it should be in bold, so it should be like this,” the bench said, as reported by the Hindustan Times.
The Delhi HC rejected the PIL and the petitioner requested freedom to file a new one highlighting some new issues.
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