The Delhi High Court on Friday sought response from the Centre and Delhi government on a PIL seeking directions to increase the size of ‘statutory warnings’ on liquor bottles and packaging.
A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal asked both governments to file their response by December 7.
The PIL filed by Delhi resident Ved Pal also sought direction from the government to come up with a policy and plan about the nature, size and contents of the mandatory statutory warnings on liquor bottles and packaging.
The plea, filed through advocate Anju Jain, said statutory warning of a larger size when visible shall be more effective in discouraging people from consuming alcohol.
It said the larger format would work better in preventing health-related issues and even leave a positive impact by reducing addiction and dependency on alcohol thereby positively impacting family life.
The petition stated that “the manner in which it is written is … unreadable and … is not prominent … due to which the purpose of writing … become meaningless and hence needs to be increased … prominent to obtain and achieve the purpose”.
“The warning — Consumption of liquor is injurious to Health — is a mere formality and there exist no set rules, prescription as to colour, size or specific directions to prominently display it to obtain the desired objective,” the plea added.
It further said that a set policy/guideline regarding the same is required which needs to be urgently framed by the respondents.
It said governments cannot merely seek the sale of alcohol for the purpose of earning revenue to the exchequer at the cost of health and life of its citizens.
It said that it was the government’s moral responsibility to promote and educate the citizen about the adverse effects of alcohol.
The petition also sought direction for governments to increase amount of expenditure on prohibition and welfare programmes for alcohol addicts in proportion to the revenue earned in the form of excise duty from the sale of liquor.