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  4. States should consider home delivery of liquor to maintain social distancing, says Supreme Court

States should consider home delivery of liquor to maintain social distancing, says Supreme Court

Alcohol stores, closed nationwide on March 25, were allowed to re-open this week, generating queues of hundreds outside outlets in some cities and leading to baton charges by police to enforce social distancing protocols.

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk New Delhi Published on: May 08, 2020 14:38 IST
sc order online liquor sale
Image Source : PTI

States should consider indirect sale, home delivery of liquor, says Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Friday suggested that states should consider an indirect sale and home delivery of liquor as per its statute and law to avoid crowding at liquor shops amid the ongoing coronavirus-induced lockdown. A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan refused to pass any orders on public interest litigation (PIL) seeking clarity on the sale of liquor and to ensure social distancing while it is being sold in liquor shops during the lockdown.

"We will not pass any order but the states should consider indirect sale/home delivery of liquor to maintain social distancing norms and standards," Justice Ashok Bhushan said while disposing of the petition.

The PIL, filed by one Sai Deepak, sought directions for closure of liquor shops for failing to enforce social distancing, which is essential to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The petitioner told the apex court that he only wants the life of common people is not affected because of crowding at liquor shops during COVID-19.

Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, another judge in the bench, said that discussion on home delivery is already going on.

The top court, after hearing the petition complaining about flouting of safety norms at liquor shops, observed that it cannot pass any orders to different states but they should consider online sale and home delivery of liquor.

Alcohol stores, closed nationwide on March 25, were allowed to re-open this week, generating queues of hundreds outside outlets in some cities and leading to baton charges by police to enforce social distancing protocols.

The government's order said only standalone alcohol shops in "orange" and "green" zones, or areas where there were no more than 15 confirmed coronavirus cases, would be allowed to re-open.

Shops in non-containment areas of "red" zones were also allowed to re-open. 

All shops would have to follow social distancing protocols and ensure that no more than five people were allowed inside the shop at any time.

However, a number of liquor shops in Delhi were forced closed after people who had lined up to buy alcohol flouted social distancing norms and over-crowded the wine shops. 

Also Read | UP liquor vendors to be fined ₹75,000 to ₹1.5 lakh if found overcharging customers

Also Read | Meghalaya collects Rs 6-cr revenue from liquor sales amid lockdown relaxations

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