Srinagar: Karwani Islami, a religious organisation, on Wednesday submitted a Public Interest Litigation before the High Court seeking a ban on sale and consumption of liquor in Jammu and Kashmir like in Kerala, Gujarat, Manipur and Union territory of Lakshadweep.
The organisation through its chairman Sheikh Ghulam Rasool Hami has sought the court’s intervention, claiming the government has failed to take necessary steps for prohibition of sale and consumption of liquor.
“Alcohol is freely available at different places in the state and the common masses have easy access to such places,” Hami, a resident of Kangan Ganderbal said.
He said a liquor shop situated at Batwara here provides easy access to the younger generation and as a result they get addicted.
“Alcohol ruins the individual physically and mentally. A drink addict loses his sense of decency,” he said, adding that day in and day out, many humans lose their lives due to drunk-driving, “modesty of women folk is ravished” and has become one of the reasons for social disorder in the society.
“Article 38 of the Constitution of India imposes obligation on states to secure a social order for the promotion of welfare of people and same cannot be achieved without good public health, “he said, emphasising that it’s the bounden duty and obligation of the state to take necessary steps to curb the menace of liquor which has far-reaching ill effects for the health and wellbeing of people of Jammu and Kashmir.
The constitution of Jammu and Kashmir under section 24, he said, makes it the duty of the state to improve and safeguard public health.
“This section further imposes obligation on the state of Jammu and Kashmir to curb sale and consumption of liquor.”
He said various states including Gujarat, Nagaland, Manipur, Union territory of Lakshadweep and Kerala have passed necessary laws for banning the sale and consumption of liquor.
Invoking M K Gandhi, Hami said the Indian father of nation admonished use of income from the sale of intoxicants on education and public services let alone the consumption of alcohol.
“It is criminal to spend income from the sale of intoxicants on the educations of the nation’s children or other public services. The government must overcome the temptation of using such revenue for nation-building purposes, experience has shown that the moral and physical gain of the abstainer more than makes up for the loss of this tainted revenue. If we eradicate the evil, we will easily find other ways and means of increasing the nation’s income,” Gandhi had said in opinion published in Harijan newspaper on 9 October 1947.
“His views have not been taken care of despite the state being part of the union of India, so again, it is the duty of the state to eliminate a menace from the society to overcome the ill-effects of the liquor,” he said in the PIL, filed through advocate Firdous Ahmad Parray and others.