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Pak Supreme Court suspends orders to seal liquor shops

Press Trust of India  |  Islamabad 

Pakistan's Supreme today suspended an order by the High to seal 120 shops for allegedly engaging in illegal sale of wine in the southern province of

A two-member bench of the consisting of Justice Ijaz Afzal and Justice Mazhar Alam admitted a filed by the owners of stores.

The accepted the argument of petitioners' lawyer who said that the shops were licensed and taxed by the and were working within

While setting aside the March 2 order of the High (SHC), the ruled that that the SHC cannot issue such an order when a governing the sale of across the country already exists.

The bench also said it will hear the wine shop owners' 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.

He maintained that sale of as allowed under the cannot be disallowed.

Ruling Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Hindu lawmaker Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, who is patron-in-chief of Hindu Council, in his arguments said the Hindu religion prohibits consumption of alcohol.

Vankwani also said that his religion was being misused to sell 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 as they fail to ensure that it was sold to only non-Muslims.

It is for the second time that the Supreme intervened to allow operation of shops, once again rejecting an order by the SHC.

Last year in November, the apex restored sale of by designated shops allowed to operate under special permits.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 20 2017. 16:42 IST