New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday requested state governments to consider home delivery liquor during the lockdown period to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and B.R. Gavai have taken up the matter through video conferencing, and allowed the sales of liquor through direct contact sales during the lockdown period.
The bench directed that states can consider allowing non-direct contact sales or online sales or home delivery of liquor during this tough times, advocate Sai Deepak, appearing for petitioner Guruswamy Nataraj said after the hearing.
During the hearing, he argued that there are 70,000 liquor vends across the country and over five crore people have till now purchased liquor from these shops.
Besides he said that due to social distancing norms not being followed at the liquor vends and shops, there are high chances that coronavirus cases can increase.
To this, the bench said that discussion is already going on for allowing online sale of liquor or its home delivery.
Deepak furtherly said that he only wanted that life of a common man should not be affected due to this direct sale from vends and MHA should issue clarificatory guidelines and states should abide by it.
The bench then directed the state to consider online sales or home delivery liquors, during the lockdown period.
On May 1, the MHA has issued fresh guidelines.
According to the health ministry report, there are 130 ‘Red’ zones in the country and the number of ‘Orange’ Zone is 284 and ‘Green’ is 319. All the districts of the national capital have been put under ‘Red’ zone.
As per the new guidelines, sale of liquor, paan, tobacco to be allowed, with the strict warning to ensure minimum six-feet social distancing; and also only 5 persons can be allowed at one time at shop. These shops should not be located in markets and malls in urban areas.
However, Supreme Court has clearly told that the consumption of liquor, paan, gutka, and tobacco is strictly not allowed in public places, during lockdown.