SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Thursday granted a final opportunity of three weeks to the state government to file objections on a liquor shop running at Batwara, Sonwar.
The court directed the state government to file objections within the stipulated time after senior counsel Mian Qayoom stated before court that the liquor shop running at Batwara has many social implications.
He submitted before court that the liquor shop is running in the vicinity of G B Pant Hospital and Central University, Kashmir, and that there are reports that a lot of young people have fallen into the trap of alcohol, resulting in many anti-social activities. He further stated that the main cause of accidents on the highways has been reported to be the influence of liquor.
Hearing the petition, the division bench comprising Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice Ali Mohammed Magrey directed the state government to file objections within three weeks and remarked that liquor consumption by youth has to be stopped as they are the future of our state.
The court further stressed to the state government that if any liquor shop is running without authorisation, it has to be closed down.
In its judgment dated October 27, 2015, the J&K High Court had observed that the action initiated by the state against the licenses of liquor shops located along the highways be strictly implemented and if any liquor shop was allowed to operate along the highways beyond the time granted, after December 2015, either the writ petitioner or any person interested in closing the said liquor shop could approach the court for its immediate closure.
In January last year, Governor N N Vohra had advised the J&K Chief Minister for the immediate implementation of the Supreme Court’s Order of December 15, 2016, in “State of Tamil Nadu v/s K. Balu and ANR”, which requires all states to ensure against licences being granted for sale of liquor in shops located along highways.
In a letter to the CM, the Governor had observed that the Supreme Court order provides the state government an excellent opportunity to take immediate action for strictly enforcing the restrictions which shall, inter-alia, also result in reducing the number of fatal road accidents in the state.