The supreme court has refused to entertain a petition which had sought closure of liquor shops stating that it is flouting social-distancing norms. The Supreme court also fined the petitioner for Rs 1 lakh for filing a frivolous plea. The bench dismissing the petition noted that these petitions stem from the ‘lack of work’.
#Breaking | Supreme Court fines petitioner Rs 1 lakh for a petition seeking closure of liquor shops. Imposing the penalty, SC said, ‘These petitions stem from lack of work.’— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) May 15, 2020
Harish Nair with details. pic.twitter.com/NGqERERzq1
The supreme court stated that this matter does not have any link with the Coronavirus situation. Supreme court dismissed the plea saying that they cannot deal with the petition. Justice Kishan Kaul said that it is on the system to deal with and not under Article 32 of the constitution, which pertains to the right to move the supreme court by appropriate proceedings.
Frivolous petition, an intention to gain publicity
The Bench comprising of Justices L Nageshwara Rao, SK Kaul and BR Gavai, noted that multiple petitions seeking the closure of liquor shops filed with an intent to gain publicity.
Apparently miffed with the frivolous nature of the petition, Justice Rao remarked, “We cannot have multiple petitions like this. These are all publicity oriented. We will impose costs.”
Advocate Prashant Kumar had approached the apex court with the petition seeking closure of liquor shops which are allegedly flouting social distancing norms.
He stated while appearing through video conference, “there are many asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 in India which one should keep in mind.”
Justice Rao replied, “But what does that have to do with the sale of liquor?” showing displeasure regarding the plea.
Liquor shops opening
The petition came after the liquor shops were opened in Delhi after a month of lockdown that witnessed a huge customer response eventually ending up flouting the social distancing norms.
The Delhi High court later suggested the Central and State government deliver liquor at the doorstep. The high court stated to consider an online shop and home delivery to prevent the gathering and huge crowd outside liquor shops.
As per reports, the Delhi government introduced an e-token system to order liquor to be delivered at the doorstep.