The Supreme Court’s judgment in the State of Tamil Nadu Rep. By Its Secretary Home, Prohibition & Excise Dept & Ors v K.Balu, on December 15 last year, and its March 31 modification order in the same case, have earned a lot of criticism in the media. The adverse response to the Court’s rulings is not a surprise, given the power wielded by the liquor lobby in every State. However, the nuts and bolts of the criticism need to be analysed, if only to understand the Supreme Court’s judgment and the order better.The alarming statistics on the occurrence of road accidents is the reason behind the Supreme Court’s extraordinary intervention. “The law can only imperfectly alleviate the consequences of road accidents. In terms of personal suffering caused to individuals and families as well as in terms of deprivation caused to society of its productive social capital, road accidents impose unacceptable costs”, the judgment begins to say.Justifying its intervention, the Court said that the parameters for the exercise of its jurisdiction are confined to the familiar terrain of enforcing the constitutional right to lead a life of dignity and self-worth.In 2014, on the national highways, there were 1.24 lakh accident cases… Read full this story
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