LIQUIR PROHIBITION CHALLENGING RIGHT TO PRIVACY AND MANIFEST ARBITRARINESS : GUJRAT


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The Gujarat High Court today with the division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Biren Vaishnav heard a batch of petitions challenging prohibition on manufacture, sale and consumption of liquor in the state referring The Gujarat Prohibition Act 1949 . Stating that the law prohibits the grounds of ‘manifest arbitrariness’ and violation of ‘right to privacy’.

The Petitioners have challenged the Gujrat Prohibition Act (1949) that two new grounds have been laid down by the Supreme Court post 2017 for challenging . One ground being based on ‘right to privacy’ ,’right to be left alone’ and ‘right to consume liquor within four walls of one’s home’ which according to them is a feature of right to privacy that was acknowledged by the Supreme Court in KS Puttaswamy vs Union of India. The other being ‘manifest arbitrariness’ which was laid down in the case of Shayara Bano .

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Biren Vaishnav was hearing this matter and will continue to do so tomorrow as well .
“Is such a plea available to be taken before a High Court? The answer is no. There may be additional grounds now. There may be new grounds that one can think of but, that cannot be the basis of challenging a law before the High Court which has already been upheld by the Supreme Court,” Advocate General Kamal Trivedi argued . Adv General Trivedi raised objections to the challenge raised against the prohibition . He stated that the High Court cannot sit in appeal over the Supreme Court’s decision of the State Of Bombay & Another vs F N Balsara(1951) where validity of the 1949 Act was upheld.

He added “We are in 71st year since the whole Act, barring few sections, came to be upheld by the Supreme Court on 25 May 1951. So, one can say with authority— since that date the decision has been holding field and there is no scope for interference,” Hence the High Court is bound by the Supreme Court’s decision under Article 141 of the Constitution said Adv General Trivedi .
“It is not open to this Court to go into this plea since the Supreme Court has spoken on the validity of the section and that is law under Article 141. That cannot be overlooked by this Court on the ground that the Supreme Court had no occasion to test the validity of the sections impugned, in the light of Article 21 of the Constitution .

REPORTED BY :-
CHITRANGADA SINGH DHONI


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Manish Tiwari

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