SC suspends SHC ban on liquor shops
The top court on Monday suspended Sindh High Court’s order to seal shops selling liquor in violation of the Hudood Ordinance of 1979.
A two-judge bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan observed that if there is a provision in Prohibition Order 1980 for taking action against violators regarding the sale of liquor, then why should the high court step in for passing any order against such violations.
Around 10 shop owners filed a petition through Asma Jahangir against the SHC’s March 2 order, in which they requested the Supreme Court to suspend the order until the final verdict.
Jahangir on Monday appeared before a two-judge bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, and contended that her client while selling wine did not violate Article 17 of the constitution.
The SHC on March 2 again ordered the provincial excise and taxation department to immediately seal off all shops selling liquor in violation of the Hudood Ordinance of 1979.
A two-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, directed the provincial police chief to submit a compliance report. However, the bench gave the Sindh government 30 days to develop a mechanism in consultation with all stakeholders, including members of minority communities and wine shop owners, to come up with a ‘practical, transparent and implementable mechanism’, to ensure only licensed shops sell liquor to non-Muslims, both local and foreign, in compliance with quota restrictions.