Report sought on wine shop in ‘Muslim-majority’ area

Shop is owned by excise and taxation minister, alleges petitioner

Our Correspondent September 08, 2016
A wine shop. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) sought on Thursday from the Thatta police a comprehensive report about the reportedly Muslim-majority neighbourhood where a wine shop is situated.

Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, who headed the division bench, gave 10 days to the Thatta police SHO inspector Abdul Jabbar for filing the report.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by Irfan Ali Bikak, who had approached the SHC against the excise and taxation department and Thatta police for allegedly failing to close a wine shop in a Muslim-majority locality.

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The petitioner said the Royal Wine Shop was opened in the locality where majority residents are not non-Muslims, as provided in the laws governing the business. He maintained that there are many mosques and schools in the area, thus open sale of liquor could not be allowed there.

On the court’s previous notice, Jabbar appeared and filed an interim report. He requested for time to file a comprehensive report.

Allowing the request, the bench gave him ten days and directed him to also provide a map showing the wine shop, the mosques’ distances and the voter list of the vicinity.

The official was further directed to clearly mention in his report if there is any school, graveyard and imambargah in the area, adding that “if so, what is the exact aerial distance between the wine shop and the other places. The official will furnish the report by September 28.

The petitioner alleged that the wine shop is owned by the excise minister Mukesh Chawla, alleging that authorities are not acting against the shop due to his influence.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2016.


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