Pakistan's Supreme Court today suspended an order by the Sindh High Court to seal 120 liquor shops for allegedly engaging in illegal sale of wine in the southern province of Sindh.
A two-member bench of the court consisting of Justice Ijaz Afzal and Justice Mazhar Alam admitted a petition filed by the owners of liquor stores.
While setting aside the March 2 order of the Sindh High Court (SHC), the court ruled that that the SHC cannot issue such an order when a law governing the sale of liquor across the country already exists.
The bench also said it will hear the wine shop owners' petition within three weeks.
Justice Afzal noted that the sale of alcohol had been banned in the country in 1979 and if someone was violating the law, he should be punished.
Ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Hindu lawmaker Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, who is patron-in-chief of Pakistan Hindu Council, in his arguments said the Hindu religion prohibits consumption of alcohol.
Vankwani also said that his religion was being misused to sell liquor in the country.
Under the 1979 law, the sale of alcohol is only permissible to non-Muslims and the SHC had held that 120 shops were engaged in the illegal sale of wine and liquor as they fail to ensure that it was sold to only non-Muslims.
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