Gujarat High Court on Friday directed the state government to clarify stand on its prohibition policy on February 11 after five fresh petitions, including a public interest litigation for freedom to consume alcohol at private places came up for hearing.
The petitioners had claimed that prohibition on liquor consumption in private space is against the right to privacy and equality. The petitioners have contended before the court that there is a sea change in the circumstances as compared to the situation prevalent in the 1950s when the ban was imposed. They had pointed out that the Supreme Court has stressed time and again on the right to privacy and the right of an individual to choose what he wants to eat and drink.
The fresh petitions were taken up by the division bench of Acting Chief Justice AS Dave and Justice Biren Vaishnav, in which another petition with the same demand is pending since October 2018.
During Friday’s hearing, the bench clarified that it will first hear the arguments of the state government on the issue on February 11. If the court is not satisfied with the contentions of the government, it will formally issue a notice to the advocate general, who will then have to argue in the matters. Since constitutionality of several provisions of the Gujarat Prohibition Act has been challenged, as per norms, the advocate general will have to argue the matter.