The J&K High Court Bar Association, Srinagar, will be challenging the new excise policy before the High Court to seek appropriate direction for banning the sale, storage and consumption of liquor in conformity with the law laid down by the Supreme Court.
The development came after HCBA executive body held ameeting and expressed anguish and resentment over the new excise policy thatallows new liquor vends to come up at a minimum distance of 100 meters fromreligious places, schools, hospitals, and nearest liquor shops as against 300meters in the earlier policy. This new policy came into in February 2019 andwill remain in force till 2020.
“The 100-meter cap is in violation of the Supreme Courtdirections and the law on the subject,” said Muhammad Ashraf Bhat, HCBA generalsecretary.
He added HCBA in its today’s meeting observed that a PublicInterest Litigation writ petition filed by advocate Manzoor Ahmad Dar, seekingcompete ban on the sale of liquor in the state, is already pending considerationbefore the High Court.
“But instead of banning the sale, storage and consumption ofliquor in the state, which is a Muslim majority state, the Government has comeup with a new policy which is bound to play havoc with the social and culturalethos of the Muslim majority society of Kashmir,” he added.
“The sale of liquor in Bihar, Gujarat, Kerala, Nagaland,Manipur and Lakshadweep is completely banned though all these states aretourist places but in the name of generating revenue from the trade of liquor,the sale of liquor is being encouraged in the state of J&K which is highlyreprehensible,” he said.