ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday suspended the Sindh High Court (SHC) order in which it had sealed all liquor shops in Sindh.
The court also asked the registrar office to fix the matter before a three-member bench on the next hearing.
A two-member bench of the court headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and comprised of Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel took up the petition of 10 liquor dealers for hearing. Asma Jahangir and Shahid Hamid, the counsel representing liquor dealers, appeared before the bench and contended that their clients had not violated Articles 17 of the Prohibition (Enforcement of Hadd) Order 1979.
Hamid contended that although the matter of five liquor shops was pending adjudication before high court but it ordered to seal 120 liquor shops. "Over 24000 citizens are working in the alcohol retail business in Sindh alone. The impugned order dated 02.03.2017 has not only affected the citizens working in the business but their families as well," stated the petition filed by dealers.
"There has never been a complaint against the Petitioners, before the excise or police authorities, about any violation of terms of the licenses granted to them under Articles 17 and 18 of the Prohibition (Enforcement of Hadd) Order 1979 or otherwise of the Petitioners being engaged in any illegal sales of alcohol," the petition added. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz lawmaker Ramesh Kumar, who is petitioner in the SHC, informed the bench that the Hindu religion prohibited consumption of alcohol.