HC ask Rlys to explain anti-liquor drive

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The Kerala high court has issued notices to Southern Railway, as also both the central and state governments, on a plea seeking to quash the railways’ drive against drunk passengers.

The court of Justice S Siri Jagan passed the order when a petition filed by K N Shasthry came up. The petitioner argued that that the railways' decision was illegal as section 145 (a) of the Railways Act, on consumption of liquor, did not specify matters like the use of breath analyzer or the state of intoxication warranting punishment.

Southern Railways recently launched the drive against drunken passengers entering its premises or trains, and booked such men by the use of breath analysers.

This followed an increase in the complaints against men creating a nuisance on various trains. Those found guilty were being made to pay a fine of Rs500 or face six months’ jail.

The petitioner sought an interim order prohibiting the railways from enforcing the Act and restraining it from taking action as long as there was no complaint from other passengers.
The High Court would consider the case on Thursday.

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