Addict and liquor

The expression means a person, something more than merely accustomed to alcoholic drink—The term ‘addict’ however advised to be not used in medical certificate certifying the requirement for permit for alcoholic drink as the expression may be used to seek concession from the people that they are deviating from morality.

The word “liquor” covers not only those alcoholic liquids which are generally used for beverage purposes and produce intoxication, but also all liquids containing alcohol. It may be that the latter meaning is not the meaning which is attributed to the word “liquor” in common parlance especially when that word is prefixed by the qualifying word “intoxicating’, but in my opinion having regard to the numerous statutory definitions of that Words, such a meaning could not have been intended to be excluded from the scope of the term “intoxicating liquor”.

In the Bengal Excise Act, 1909 “liquor” is said to mean:

“liquid consisting of or containing alcohol, and includs spirits of wine, spirit, wine, tari pachwal. beer, and any Sub-stance which the Provincial Govt. may…. declare to be liquor for the purposes of the Act.”

In several  Provincial Acts, e. g., the Punjab. Excise Act, 1914, the U. P. Excise Act, 1910, “liquor” is used as meaning intoxicating liquor and as including alcohol. The definition of “liquor” in the Madras Abkari Act, 1886 is the same as in the Bombay Act of 1878. Even if we exclude the American and English Acts from our consideration, we find that all the Provincial Acts of this country have consistently included liquids containing alcohol in the definition of ‘liquor’ and ‘intoxicating liquor’. The framers of the Govt. of India Act. 1935 could not have been entirely ignorant of the accepted sense in which the word ‘liquor’ has been used in the various excise Acts of this country, and, accordingly I consider the appropriate conclusion to be that the word “liquor” covers not only those alcoholic liquids which are generally used for beverage purposes and produce intoxication, but also all liquids containing alcohol. It may be that the latter meaning is not the meaning which is attributed to the word “liquor” in common parlance especially when that word is prefixed by the qualifying word ‘intoxicating’, but in my opinion having regard to the numerous statutory definitions of that word, such a meaning could not have been intended to be excluded from the scope of the term “intoxicating liquor” as used in entry 31 of List II.


Ref: AIR 1951 SC 318 : (1951) SCR 682 : (1951) CriLJ SC 1361

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