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The Supreme Court on Monday suspended a Sindh High Court (SHC) decision to seal 120 liquor shops in operating in Sindh.

Admitting a petition filed by the owners of liquor stores, a two-member Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Ijaz Afzal and Justice Mazhar Alam ruled that the SHC cannot issue such an order when a law governing the sale of liquor across the country already exists.

Lawyer Shahid Hamid, representing various wine shop owners from Sindh, had challenged the SHC order, saying liquor shops operating in Sindh were licensed and taxed by the government and should be allowed to continue operating without hindrance.

In his remarks, Justice Afzal noted that the sale of alcohol had been banned in the country in 1979.

"If someone is found violating the law [regarding the sale of liquor], the police can act against them," he said.

He also added that if someone violates the law after the court's current ruling, contempt proceedings can be initiated against them.

PML-N lawmaker Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, who is patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council, in his arguments said the Hindu religion prohibits consumption of alcohol.

Some liquor shops exist in close proximity to mosques, temples and churches, he said, while requesting the apex court to not lift the ban on liquor shops until the Sindh government files its reply in the high court regarding regulation of sale of liquor.

While setting aside the March 2 order of the SHC, the SC said it will hear the wine shop owners' petition within three weeks.

In its order, the SHC had held that 120 shops operating across the province were clearly engaged in the illegal sale of wine and liquor; ie, without ensuring that it was sold to non-Muslims alone and that too within the prescribed quota, thus violating prohibition rules and doing business contrary to the injunctions of the Hadd Order 1979.

The SHC had ordered the director general of excise and taxation to seal all the liquor shops in Sindh with immediate effect and asked the inspector general of police to ensure compliance in this regard.

The court had given the Sindh government one month to evolve a mechanism in consultation with the stakeholders to ensure that only licensed liquor shops sold wine and liquor to non-Muslims within the permissible quota as part of their religious ceremonies and maintained a record of sales which should be made available to the public.

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Comments (16) Closed



Faisal Mar 20, 2017 01:49pm

what a shame

S Khan Mar 20, 2017 02:01pm

A fair and logical decision.

Zak Mar 20, 2017 02:12pm

Cant expect this from SC atleast.

Asad Mar 20, 2017 02:10pm

I hope we will respect minorities; to ban a thing is only to earn kick backs....

Zafar Ahmed Mar 20, 2017 02:16pm

The Supreme Court promptly suspended a Sindh High Court decision to seal 120 liquor shops but keep pending important cases !

Henry marker Mar 20, 2017 02:20pm

Thank you for sharing this information

Gerry D'Cunha Mar 20, 2017 03:50pm

One can imagine who's interest lies in opening the liquor shop?

Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Mar 20, 2017 04:07pm

How can this happen in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan?

Skeptic Mar 20, 2017 04:19pm

Eat, drink and be merry!??That may be the new slogan in Pakistan.

How about a liquor store on every corner? Under the guise of generating tax revenue, there are hundreds of vices that could be legalized just so government can earn more and the PM can live in the luxury, while the nation sinks into immorality and decadence.

M.Saeed Mar 20, 2017 04:33pm

Why the SHC and SCP are not on the same page of rules and regulations in the matter?

Gerry D'Cunha Mar 20, 2017 05:52pm

@Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Are you aware who owns these liquor brewery in Pakistan?

RAZAA Mar 20, 2017 06:27pm

Great thanks

RAZAA Mar 20, 2017 06:28pm

@M.Saeed As its person prerogative what to eat and drink. Drinkers are never Radicals

akram Mar 20, 2017 08:01pm

the problem with those who want to ban it, they think by banning those who want to drink will not get hold of Alcohol, but this is foolish. Those who want to drink will find it where ever it hides, better the state gets to tax it, then have the money go to underground liquor barons.

Agha Ata Mar 20, 2017 08:12pm

What a fuss!

Alba Mar 21, 2017 12:22am

If all the shops in Pakistan sold only wine and beer, to non Muslims but never hard liquor or spirits people would be better off. There should be large fines for selling spirits and short jail sentences for repeat offenders, but no penalties at all for selling wines, beers and ale. Nothing good comes from drinking hard liquor or spirits. A glass or two of water and wine (half and half) can be good for people with heart failure.