New Delhi [India], February 26 (ANI): A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been moved in Delhi High Court seeking direction to the Government of NCT of Delhi to prohibit/control the production, distribution, and consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs, which are injurious to health in order to secure the right to health, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.
The petition also seeks direction to the Government to Publish Health Warning on Liquor Bottles and Packages, alike health warning signs used on Cigarette packets, and advertise 'Health and Environment Hazard' of intoxicating drinks through electronic, print, and social media in order to secure citizen's right to know, right to information and right to health, guaranteed under Article 21.
Petitioner Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, BJP leader and practising lawyer further seeks issuance of direction to Government to carry out Health Impact Assessment and Environment Impact Assessment of production distribution and consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs in the spirit of Articles 21 and 47.
Plea further states that, Delhi has a total of 280 municipal wards and until 2015, there were only 250 liquor shops i.e. on an average, one liquor shop in every ward and 30 wards without liquor shop. But now State is planning to open three liquor shops in every ward, which is not only arbitrary and irrational but also offends rule of law and right to health guaranteed under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.
Article 47 is nevertheless fundamental in the governance and the State is obligated to prohibit the consumption of liquor and drugs but rather than advertising about health hazards of intoxicating drinks and drugs, State is promoting liquor consumption, alleges petitioner Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.
Plea further stated that, drinking is ten times more dangerous than smoking but health warning is not used on liquor bottles. All alcohol bottles must carry health warnings alike cigarette packets. These statutory warnings on labels must include requests to consumers to not consume alcohol and drive and outline how alcohol consumption is harmful to health, plea added.
Apart from the warning, the specific labeling requirements also need a declaration about alcohol content, allergen warning, no nutritional data, no health claim, restriction on words such as "non-intoxicating" or words implying similar meaning on the label of beverage containing more than o.so/o alcohol by volume, the plea said.
But it has been more than 3 years since the regulation came up for all manufacturers to comply with, still there is no sign of strict and sincere compliance with it. No health warning or proper display of liquor contents has been complied with. FSSAI has proved to be completely incompetent, the plea stated. (ANI)