The Supreme Court reprimanded the Punjab government on Monday over rampant manufacturing and sale of illegal liquor in the state and directed it to file an affidavit regarding the steps taken so far to curb the menace.
The Bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice M.M. Sundresh came down heavily on the State of Punjab for ‘only filing FIRs’ and not taking any further action on them.
It said that being a border state, Punjab government needs to be very careful. Anybody intending to destroy the country could easily do so by trapping the youth in the vicious circle of drugs.
Noting that drugs and alcohol abuse was a serious issue in Punjab, the Apex Court said that this could completely destroy the youth.
It further said that if the border area of the country was not secure, this could spell danger to the security of the nation. The Bench remarked that a brewery could be found in every street of Punjab.
Justice Shah suggested the state government to give public money to those who died due to spurious liquor. He further suggested that the money seized during illegal recoveries should be utilised for running campaigns against drug and alcohol abuse.
The Supreme Court directed the Punjab government to file a detailed affidavit in this matter, listing out the concrete steps taken by it to stop the menace. It further asked as to what action has the Punjab government taken in this matter? When will the people caught be prosecuted?
The bench was hearing a petition challenging a September 2020 order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court that had disposed of a petition seeking transfer of some FIRs registered in Punjab in relation to distillation of spurious liquor, its sale and inter-state smuggling, to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The High Court had dismissed the petition, after the State Counsel assured the court that concerns raised by the petitioners would be duly dealt with and suitable action would also be initiated, if necessary.
The State was further directed to issue a circular, which would state that if any illegal drug was found, concerned local police may be held responsible for not keeping vigil.