CORRESPONDENT AIZAWL, Jan 31: The Aizawl Bench of the Gauhati High Court has quashed the Mizoram Government’s order for extension of dry days in the State. After prolonged dry days since December 21 last year, liquor shops reopened here today. Long queues of people were seen in front of the shops. “During the dry days, the price of liquor skyrocketed. Now it is available at the earlier rates,” said a customer at a liquor shop in the Millennium Centre. 

Mizoram Newspaper
The Aizawl Bench of the Gauhati High Court on Tuesday quashed the Mizoram Government’s order for extension of the dry days till March 10, following lawsuits filed by the Mizoram Liquor Dealers’ Association and owners of three bonded warehouses in the State. The court ruled that even if the Mizoram Government is intent on bringing in a law to ban liquor, it has to give sufficient time to the petitioners to sell the stock already available in the State. The court found that declaration of the dry days for such a long period is “arbitrary” and “not justified”. 

“The state respondents shall allow the petitioners to import liquor on the basis of existing/valid permits and sell liquor as per the validity of their licences,” the court ruled. The liquor dealers and owners of bonded warehouses together filed the lawsuits on January 17 against the Mizo National Front Government’s decision to extend the dry days till March 10. Keen on imposing prohibition, the Mizo National Front Government had declared dry days from December 21 last year to January 14 in view of the Christmas and New Year celebrations. 

The day days were again sought to be extended till March 10. With the High Court’s judgement, Mizoram will become ‘wet’ for at least two months, after which the Government will be ready with a new law to replace the existing law. The court had earlier set January 22 as the date for hearing on the case, but rescheduled it for January 29, giving the government advocates time to submit notifications on dry days, and sought more documents.
 - Assam Tribune

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