The Supreme Court on Friday observed that the state should consider online sales and home delivery of liquor to maintain social distancing norms amid ongoing coronavirus lockdown. The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan refused to pass any orders on public interest litigation (PIL) seeking direction from the court declaring the new guidelines dated May 01, 2020 by the central government as unconstitutional, null and void as these allow sales through direct contact amid lockdown.
"We will not pass any order but the states should consider indirect sale/home delivery of liquor to maintain social distancing norms and standards," Justice Ashok Bhushan said while disposing of the petition.
The petition also said that the petitioner petitioner only seeks safety of the common man because of the situation. "I only want (that the) life of (the) common man should not be affected because of liquor sales. MHA (Home Ministry) should issue clarification to states on liquor sales," lawyer J Sai Deepak who was appearing for the petitioner said.
Meanwhile, the central government recently allowed liquor sales across all the country, excluding containment areas, from today. As per the government order, only standalone shops will be allowed to sell liquor; malls or liquor shops in shopping complexes will remain closed. It prompted people to throng liquor shops in huge numbers, flouting social distancing norms. Several retailers had also expressed concerns that their existing stock may dry-up soon.