OPEN LETTER

Respect the court's judgement

liquor-shop-along Liquor shop along NH8 | Aayush Goel

Open letter to all the chief ministers on their stand on Supreme Court's liquor ban along highways

Dear chief ministers,

Civil society requires institutions like courts, which function fairly and transparently. They are to be respected by all. By circumventing the Supreme Court’s judgement, the leaders have put the credibility of the apex court in danger.
Disagreement with the court ruling is our right but it is to be shown by bringing out facts which were not presented earlier and not by changing the rules themselves. For example, NCRB data for 2015 shows that drunk driving accounted for only 2.6 per cent of the deaths due to road accidents whereas 47.9 per cent of the deaths were due to over-speeding. Closing the liquor shops on road sides alone may not reduce drunk driving. Drivers, especially long-distance truck drivers, can purchase liquor beforehand and carry it with them. They often do so. Making the drivers aware of the dangers, encouraging them to drink more coffee to tackle body ache and remain alert, providing the carrot of cheaper coffee outlets on highways, coupled with the stick of more breath analyser tests and spot fines, may reduce drunk driving more than by merely closing liquor shops.
Your arguments about loss of jobs does not appear to be right either. For those who have suffered the loss of loved ones or have been injured, loss of jobs may appear to be the less harmful option. We can understand that the popular opinion is against the Supreme Court judgement. But the true measure of leaders is in moulding public opinion, not merely repeating it.

T. Sudhakar Bhat,
Sullia, Karnataka

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