New Delhi: In what could be a shot in the arm of the liquor vendors, a three-judge bench of the apex court on Friday said that it won’t pass any order on liquor sale, but states should consider home delivery or indirect sale of liquor to maintain social distancing. Also Read - Coronavirus Prevention: Reason Why You Should Opt For a Copper Mask
1. A PIL was filed before the Supreme Court against the liquor sales which saw a huge crowding in all states, which defeats the purpose of the ongoing lockdown. Also Read - Temples to Open in Karnataka From June 1, Fairs And Fests to Remain Restricted
2. The three-judge bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and BR Gavai heard the case through video conferencing as the apex court is also stickling to social distancing. Also Read - When Will Schools, Colleges Reopen in India? Read Government's Plan Here
3. The liquor sales started after May 4 when the Centre partially relaxed the lockdown and allowed the sales in all zones — Green, Orange, Red — except the containment zones.
4. This was done at the behest of the state governments many of which had urged the Centre to allow liquor sales so that the flailing economy can look up.
5. As soon as the sales began, the state governments imposed a special tax to reap the benefit of the demand.
6. But at the same time concerns are being raised as the social distancing norms have been thrown to the wind.
7. Punjab, Chattisgarh, West Bengal are some of the states that have allowed home delivery of liquor. Delhi has come up with an e-token system to avoid crowding.
8. Why won’t the Supreme Court interfere? Because it’s a policy decision.
9. There is no central policy of allowing home delivery of liquor. As some states are moving towards the direction, this has to be done by either the state or the Centre. This doesn’t need judicial intervention.
10. Food delivery company Zomato reportedly is considering taking up door-to-door delivery of alcohol.