Mumbai: In a setback for a 38-year-old woman, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court on Monday upheld her detention for a period of one year, for producing and selling spurious alcohol and spreading her business in various towns of Jalna district. The HC said that mere sale of illicit liquor won't attract detention but the same should also have an impact on public order.
A bench of Justices Ravindra Ghuge and Bhalchandra Debadwar was seized with a plea filed by Chandrakala Jadhav challenging the December 2020 orders of the district collector, ordering her detention for a year in central prison, Harsul.
The prosecution alleged that Chandrakala indulged into manufacturing and selling illicit liquor and even threatening alert citizens from complaining to the police against her.
The prosecution highlighted the eight criminal cases pending against her for the same offence. It also highlighted that her drunkard customers usually created a law and order situation in the areas where she sold the liquor.
Further, the prosecution highlighted that Chandrakala had earlier given an undertaking for not indulging into such activities but however, she breached the same.
Having heard the contentions, the bench said, "It is obvious that the purpose of the laws to detain a bootlegger was to curb and prevent the dangerous activities being indulged into by a particular person which prejudicially affected the people at large. However, it is necessary for the detaining authority to show that the activities of that person have a nexus with the maintenance of public order."
The judges further said that a person cannot be detained just because s/he deals with illicit liquor. They added that the prosecution must show how the activity is against the maintenance of public order.
The bench noted that Chandrakala had threatened one of the two witnesses of dire consequences and had asked him not to give any statement against her.
"Since, the illicit liquor manufactured by Chandrakala is spurious, there is every danger to the person who consumes the same. Many age-old and young persons of the locality get addicted to such spurious illegal liquor, as she has spread her illegal business in the locality in a large scale and made available the same at a cheaper rate," the bench considered.
"So addicted young person after consuming the spurious liquor disturb the peace and tranquility and cause the disturbances in daily routine of the locality," the bench added, while upholding her detention orders.