SC imposes Rs 1 lakh cost on NGO seeking prohibition

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh on an NGO seeking directions for enforcement of country-wide prohibition of liquor – a provision under Article 47 of the Constitution’s Directive Principle of State Policy which calls for endeavour to prohibit intoxicating drinks and drugs harmful to health.

Describing the plea by Visakhapatanam-based Chaitanya Sravanthi as frivolous, the bench of Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice Navin Sinha imposed the cost on the NGO, which had moved the court under under Article 32 of the Constitution in public interest.

At the outset of the hearing, the bench asked the counsel for the petitioner to read the Constitution’s Article 37 which says that the provisions contained under the Directive Principle of State Policy (DPSP) “shall not be enforceable by any court, but the principles therein laid down are nevertheless fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws”.

The NGO had sought the enforcement of Article 47 under the Directive Principle of State Policy which says, ” … the State shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health.”

It had sought the direction for the inclusion of alcohol in the list of prohibited products and framing of policy for the implementation of the Article 47 in all the states, contending that due to the lack of uniform national policy, similar to tobacco ban, drinking of alcohol was increasing day by day resulting in deaths due to related health problems, increase in crime, financial loss to the people especially daily labourers.