Published On: February 26, 2022 at 17:43 IST
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Delhi High Court seeking to direct the Government of NCT of Delhi to prohibit the production, distribution, and consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs which are injurious to health.
The PIL was moved in order to secure the Right to Health under Article 21 of the Constitution.
The Plea seeks to direct the Government to publish Health Warning on liquor bottles and packages and to advertise the ‘Health and Environment Hazard’ of intoxicating drinks through electronic, print and social media.
This would help in securing Right to Information and Right to Health guaranteed to citizens under Article 21.
The Petitioner, Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who is a BJP Leader and practicing Lawyer sought directions to the Government to carry out Health Impact Assessment and Environment Impact Assessment of production and consumption of intoxicating drugs and drinks in spirit of Articles 21 and 47 of the Constitution.
The Plea stated that Delhi has 280 Municipal Wards in total and until 2015 there was one liquor shop in every ward with no liquor shop in 30 wards.
But the State’s decision to open three liquor shops in every ward is arbitrary, irrational, and offends Rule of Law and Right to Health under Articles 14 and 21.
The Petitioner stated that under Article 47 of the Constitution, the State has an obligation to prohibit liquor and drug consumption.
He alleged that instead of advertising about the health hazards of liquor, the State is prompting liquor consumption. He stated that in last 7 years, Delhi has been made “Liquor Capital of India”.
It was further stated that health warnings are not used on liquor bottles though drinking is more dangerous than smoking. It was added that all alcohol bottles must carry health warnings as mentioned on cigarette packets.
The labels must also include declaration about alcohol content, allergen warning, no nutritional data, no health claim, restriction on terms like ‘non-intoxicating’ if the volume of alcohol is more than the standard level.
It was pointed out that it has been 3 years since the regulation came up and there is no sign of compliance with it yet.
Also, FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) proved to be completely incompetent.