Supreme Court asks states to consider home delivery of liquor

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The petitioner argued the decision to open liquor shops was affecting the life of the ‘common man’.
 

Refusing to stay the sale of liquor during the lockdown, the Supreme Court on Friday, May 8, asked the states to consider online delivery of alcohol to ensure social distancing people are forced to maintain due to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.  

The court made the suggestion while hearing a petition challenging the decision of various state governments to open liquor shops during the lockdown period. The petitioner’s lawyer, Deepak Sai, told the court that physical distancing was a big challenge in liquor vends, as there is a huge margin between the demand and supply of alcohol, which is “creating a nuisance” for “the common man”.

The petition filed in “public interest”, sought the court’s direction to ban the sale of alcohol at liquor shops through direct contact, by declaring the Centre’s new Covid-19 guidelines for the lockdown as “unconstitutional, null and void”, said a report In Scroll.in.

However, the bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and BR Gavai said passing orders on the plea under Article 32 was “not feasible”. “We will not pass any order but states should consider home delivery or indirect sale of liquor to maintain physical distancing,” it observed.

The government decision to permit opening of the liquor shops saw large number of people queuing in front of liquor shops, ignoring all physical distancing norms, in several states, especially Karnataka, Delhi and Mumbai.

Meanwhile, Indian food delivery company Zomato is planning to undertake home delivery of liquor, according to a Reuters report. Zomato, which has already diversified into grocery deliveries, is planning a technology-enabled home delivery based solution.

Mohit Gupta, Zomato’s CEO for food delivery, claimed that this will promote responsible consumption of alcohol.

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