Terming the government report on liquor shops incomplete, the High Court today granted the state one more week to file a comprehensive report on relocation of liquor shops situated near hospitals, religious places, educational institutions and along highways.
Hearing public interest litigation which seeks complete prohibition on sale and consumption of liquor in the state, a Division Bench of the High Court, including Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey, directed the state government to file a comprehensive report by or before October 14, the next date of hearing.
Earlier, while appearing for the first time in the case, Advocate General Jehangir Iqbal had sought more time to file a comprehensive report on relocation of liquor shops situated near hospitals, religious places, educational institutions and along highways. Quoting a report from the Excise Commissioner, Jehangir in his submissions said liquor shops along highways had already been issued notices.
However, the bench wanted to know the time given to the liquor shops to relocate and the steps taken by the government for the relocation of liquor shops near hospitals, schools and places of worship.
On September 29, while issuing a notice to the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led PDP-BJP dispensation, the court had sought its response within one week on giving directions regarding the location of liquor shops near educational institutions, hospitals, places of worship, national and state highways and on what time liquor shops should be opened and closed.
However the High Court in its orders had made it clear that “the issue as to whether in the state of J&K total prohibition is to be strictly enforced or not is a policy decision to be taken by the state government.”