No Warning Labels Needed On Liquor Bottles, Says Supreme Court; What’s The Logic?

New Delhi: In what will come as a surprise to many, the Supreme Court on Friday declined to entertain a petition seeking regulation on production, distribution and consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs in the national Capital and also having health warning stickers on liquor bottles a la 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 warning signs mandatory on cigarette packets — and the same should be advertised through electronic, print and social media.

The three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice U U Lalit and also comprising Justices S. Ravindra Bhat and Indira Banerjee, heard Upadhyay’s contention pressing for limited prayer to have warning labels on alcohol bottles, as they are harmful. Upadhyay also made the point that this will benefit the youth.

Observing that there are thoughts and counter-thoughts, the Supreme Court said 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,” the bench said.

Upadhyay then requested the apex court to grant him liberty to move the Law Commission in the matter.

“No, we will only allow withdrawal,” the bench was firm.

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