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Sindh wine dealers moved SC against SHC

11 March, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: The wine dealers from Sindh on Friday moved the Supreme Court against the Sindh High Court (SHC) order in which it stopped the sale across the province.

Asma Jahangir filed a petition under Article 185 (3) on behalf of 10 wine shops, making the Sindh government, Sindh Excise and Taxation director general, inspector general, MNA Ramesh Kumar and National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) as respondents.

Kumar had filed a petition in the SHC, requesting it to declare the issuance of licences in the name of minorities as illegal.

On March 2, the SHC ordered to seal all the wine shops throughout the province. The court said the permit holders are in complete violation of the legal framework established for the sale of wine.

The petition filed in the SC contended that earlier a separate petition on the same issue was remanded to the SHC which was still pending.

The petition also stated that the SHC had not thoroughly examined the records of the petitioners' sales to its individual customers or the procedures in place and arbitrarily held that alcohol was being sold by the petitioners in violation of the Sindh Prohibition (Enforcement of Hadd) Rules, 1979 particularly when there was not a single complaint against the petitioners.

It added that the interim order by SHC was granted to Ramesh Kumar without taking into consideration that he did not have a prima facie case, the balance of convenience was not in his favour and that there was no threat of any irreparable loss or injury to him if the interim relief was not granted.

It also stated that alcohol factories and stores were operative across Pakistan, adding that the SHC order put the livelihood of shopkeepers and their families at stake.

"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," it stated, adding that the petitioners would suffer grave and irreparable financial loss if the SHC order was not suspended.

"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 petitioners said.

The petition contended that relief could not be granted to Kumar in the extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 199 as he made vague allegations only to punish and harass the instant petitioners on a misdirected belief.

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