The Supreme Court on Friday declined to entertain a plea seeking regulation on the production, distribution, and consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs in the national capital and also health warning stickers on liquor bottles alike cigarette packets.
The plea filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay sought a direction to the government to publish health warnings on liquor bottles — similar to the criteria adopted for warning signs on cigarette packets — and the same should be advertised through electronic, print, and social media.
Upadhyay contended before a bench headed by Chief Justice U.U. Lalit that he would only press for limited prayer to have warning labels on alcohol bottles, as they are harmful. He further argued that a little indulgence in this matter will benefit the youth and pressed for warning labels on the bottles.
The bench, also comprising Justices S. Ravindra Bhat and Indira Banerjee, said that there are thoughts and counter thoughts, and some people say liquor taken in small quantities is good for health and nowhere similar things are said about cigarettes. The bench expressed its disinclination in entertaining the petition. “Either you withdraw this or we will dismiss it. This is a policy matter,” said the bench.
Upadhyay urged the top court to grant him the liberty to move the Law Commission in the matter. The bench said, “No, we will only allow withdrawal”. Upadhyay withdrew his petition.
The plea had also sought a direction to the Delhi government to carry out a ‘health impact assessment’ and ‘environment impact assessment’ of production, distribution and consumption of the intoxicating drinks and drugs in the spirit of Articles 21 and 47 of the Constitution.