The High Court has issued a ruling asking why the inclusion of "alcohol" as a drug in the schedule of the Narcotics Control Act 2018 should not be declared illegal.
The court asked the law secretary, home secretary, finance secretary, and director of the Narcotics Control Department to respond to the rule within four weeks, said a press statement on Monday.
A High Court bench of Justice Mamnoon Rahman and Justice Khandaker Diliruzzaman passed the order on Monday after a preliminary hearing on a writ petition filed by Mohammad Farooq, managing director, RJ Tower Hotel and Resort Limited in Ashuganj, Brahmanbaria, last week.
Lawyer Ahsanul Karim appeared for the writ petition, while Deputy Attorney General Amit Das Gupta represented the state.
After the order, Ahsanul Karim told reporters, "Alcohol and other drugs have been defined in the same definition in the schedule of Narcotics Control Act 2018. There are many drugs, which are not importable, and carrying them is considered a crime. On the contrary, alcohol is an import-export product."
"However, there are many more drugs, including yaba and ice (crystal meth), which are banned products. These are not importable or exportable. Since alcoholic beverages and illicit drugs are defined in the same way, problems arise for people who conduct businesses such as selling, importing, or exporting alcohol," he added.
Ahsanul further said, "Consequently, this is having a negative impact on the alcohol business. Hence, the court has issued a rule asking why this law should not be declared in conflict with Articles 31 and 40 of the Constitution."