Supreme Court Refuses Stay On Liquor Sale; Asks States To Consider Online Trade

Representational Image - Sakshi Post

HYDERABAD: In a key observation relevant to the current lockdown time, Supreme Court on Friday suggested to the state governments to consider online sale and delivery of liquor, keeping in view the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

A three-member bench, headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan and comprising Sanjay Kishan Kaul and BR Gavai, conducted a video-conferencing hearing of a petition challenging exemptions given for the sale of liquor during lockdown. Lawyer Deepak Sai, representing the petitioner, said that people’s lives are at risk due to mass gatherings at wine shops. But the apex court refused to give any stay on liquor sale in the country and instead asked states to consider the idea of online liquor sale.

The Supreme Court bench suggested that it would be better if states opt for online liquor sales which will reduce the risk of coronavirus spread. The apex court’s observations assume significance in the wake of a mad rush and long queues being witnessed at liquor stores in states where it is permitted. People and wine shop organizers not entirely adhering to lockdown-time precautionary rules like social distancing and wearing face masks has raised serious concerns of a spike in the dreaded virus cases.

Despite abnormally high liquor rates in Delhi and Andhra Pradesh, liquor lovers were still seen forming long queues in front of wine shops.

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