Consuming liquor in private is no offence: Kerala HC


In what’s going to be a major relief for tipplers, the Kerala High Court on Monday ruled that consuming liquor in a private place without causing nuisance or annoyance to anybody, will not attract any offence.

It also pointed out that mere smell of alcohol cannot be construed to mean that the person was intoxicated or was under the influence of any liquor.

The allegation in the case was that on 26/02/2013, when the petitioner, 38-year-old B.S. Salim Kumar was called to the Police Station for the purpose of identifying an accused, was under the influence of alcohol and the local police station at Badiadka registered a crime against him and he was charge sheeted against which he appealed to the High Court to quash the petition and it was done by Justice Sophy Thomas.

The Court noted that there was no evidence to show that the petitioner committed rioting or misbehaved himself in the Police Station and the only allegation in the FIR was that he was intoxicated and was unable to control himself.

It further pointed out that in order to attract an offence punishable, a person should be found in a public place in an intoxicated manner or rioting condition incapable of looking after himself.

“The very fact that the petitioner reached the Police Station, when he was asked to be present there, itself will negate the case of the prosecution that he was incapable of looking after himself even if it is taken for granted for argument’s sake that he had consumed alcohol at that time,” and the court quashed the proceedings of the petitioner.