Objecting to the free sale of liquor in the walled (old) city of Amritsar,which was prohibited by the Congress government in 2006,a PIL demanding closure of liquor vends in the city was filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday.
Taking stock of the PIL,a division bench comprising Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and Justice Jasbir Singh has issued notices to the Punjab government and Amritsar Deputy Commissioner.
Interestingly,the PIL,which accused the Akali government of lifting the ban,has been filed by Amarjit Singh,SAD general secretary,Amritsar. The PIL gave details of seven liquor vends operating in the city without any check.
A notification was issued by the Congress government on March 24,2006 banning liquor vends in the walled city of Amritsar. The notification was issued by making an amendment in the Liquor Licences Rules,1956. The petitioner has claimed that the Akali government is not paying any heed to the said amendment and liquor is being sold freely in the holy city.
Advocate Navkiran Singh,counsel for the petitioner,sought directions from the court to Punjab government to ensure that when these vends are auctioned for the next fiscal year in April,the government should ensure that no liquor vend is permitted to operate within the walled city of Amritsar.
Religious sentiments are affected by these liquor vends. The government has turned a blind eye towards this illegal business, said Navkiran.