On Friday, 20th March 2020, High Court of Kerala imposed a fine of 50,000 upon a petitioner who was seeking to have liquor delivered home. This fine was imposed by the High Court to set an example so that in future people won’t repeat it. He is asked to pay the amount to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund within two weeks and produce the receipt before the High Court registrar-general, failing to do so shall result in a revenue recovery proceedings initiated against him.
In his plea, the petitioner, Jyothish said that since the liquor stores are usually crowded it will aggravate the risk of COVID-19, so he sought home delivery of liquor online.
While reviewing the petition Justice A K Jayasankaran Nambiar said, “It is distressing to note that notwithstanding the clear instructions given with a view to attaining the objectives of the Health Department, writ petitions have been indiscriminately filed before this court.” “The citizenry ought to realise that the restrictions imposed by this court on the filing of cases are with a view to ensuring that their fundamental rights as citizens, for access to justice, is guaranteed to the extent possible, even at the cost of exposing the judges, lawyers, clerks and staff of this court to the risk of viral infection,” the court said.
The court noted total insensitivity of the petitioner against his fellow citizens and hopes it isn’t repeated in the near future.
“Although counsel for the petitioner prays for permission to withdraw the writ petition, I am of the view that, merely because of he has chosen to withdraw the writ petition, after having filed it and submitted it to the processing that is required before it reaches the Bench, the petitioner cannot be exempted from the costs that must inevitably be imposed on him for his conduct”, it said.