Public interest litigation (PIL) has been launched in the Bombay High Court to challenge the Maharashtra government’s decision last month to allow the sale of wine at supermarkets and walk-in stores in the state.
According to the petition submitted by Sandip Kusalkar, a social worker, the government’s action undermines the goal of de-glamorizing alcohol usage and allows a person to acquire alcohol on his own without supervision.
The petitioner claims to be working directly with teens, young people, and poor children who are orphaned or unable to receive parental care and says that such youngsters are vulnerable to social vices such as alcohol or drug addiction and gambling.
The state cabinet approved the sale of wine at supermarkets and walk-in stores across the state at its meeting on January 27. A minister later stated that the move was made to encourage fruit-based wineries, which provide farmers with additional revenue.
The lawsuit filed in the high court alleged that the state’s action violated an August 2011 government resolution establishing a de-addiction programme.
According to the PIL, the state government’s de-addiction programme was designed to reduce the spread of addictions among adolescents and to dissuade individuals from engaging in drinking practices.
As per the PIL, the resolution imposes a responsibility on the state to ban the consumption of intoxicating drinks and medicines that are harmful to one’s health, as well as to enhance one’s level of life and public health in general.
The government resolution says that no alcohol shall be sold near educational institutions, government offices, parks, hospitals, religious institutions, or state and national highways.