CHENNAI: “Even drinking water is scarce in most parts of India, but the other ‘water’ - alcohol - flows aplenty everywhere in which many families are drowning. Liquor is a poison to society and the basic reason for many social evils. In spite of that, governments are opening liquor shops and bars as many as possible with sole aim of getting revenue,” bemoaned the Madras High Court.
In 2013, drunken driving caused 20,290 accidents killing 6,463 people and injuring 20,081. TN accounted for 2,764 accidents due to alcohol, causing death of 718 people and injuring 2,957. These accidents and loss of lives are man made and hence preventable, Justice N Kirubakaran observed on Wednesday.
The Judge was passing interim orders on the appeals from legal heirs of two accident victims, B Ram Kumar and B Arun Kumar. Riding a two wheeler, they met with an accident involving an MTC bus on LB Road in Adyar in 2011. Post-mortem report said the duo were inebriated. The Motor Accidents Tribunal awarded a compensation of `11.34 lakh to the family of Ram Kumar, who drove the vehicle and another `9.25 lakh to the family of Arun Kumar, the pillion rider. Demanding more compensation, the legal heirs preferred the present appeal. TheJudge said total prohibition is in the interest of society as a whole. Many families are shattered because of drinking and mostly the sufferers are women and children as they are affected physically, psychologically and economically. More people including juveniles are becoming addicts. New methods have to be found out to deter the people from taking liquor.
In view of the above, it is appropriate to implead Union Cabinet Secretary, State Revenue Secretary, TASMAC Managing Director and the Director General of Police as parties in the case, the Judge said and accordingly, impleaded them.