A Writ Petition was moved before the High Court of Delhi by Advocates Simran Kohli and Abheehshek Bhagat on behalf of the petitioner pleading before the High Court to direct the Delhi Government to propose a new policy considering the huge crowds lining outside liquor shops and negligence of social distancing at such places. The petitioner proposed a policy where liquor can be delivered through tokens or is delivered through online orders placed by the customers.
It was submitted by the petitioner that opening up of liquor shops after 45 days of lockdown led to hundreds of people violating social distancing norms outside the liquor shops, which also led to police using mild force to disperse the crowd.
It was stated by the Petitioner that
“People could be seen crowding and jostling at the shops. This led to many shops being ordered to be shut by the Delhi Police. This has brought forth the inadequate planning on the part of the excise department. Seeing the number of shops it is impossible to provide police deployment at every shop. Further, the efforts of the Delhi Police have been proved to be a failure in handling the thronging crowd”.
The petitioner further submitted that shutting the liquor shop would be a counterproductive approach as the sale of liquor is a major source of revenue during such times. They highlighted the point that the state can consider initiating an online delivery system for liquor as it is not prohibited by the Delhi Excise Act. The delivery can be made with adequate age verification check.
The petitioner also suggested that the Government can consider implementing a token system, under which a person can buy liquor online and generate a token number. The person can go to the liquor shop at the allotted time on the token to collect his order. Apart from the token system, the Petitioner stated, that the government can also limit the delivery timing and quantity limits, as it deems fit.
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