SC issues notice to UP for granting licences for liquor sale

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New Delhi, Mar 3 (UNI) The Supreme Court today issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh state on a petition, challenging the decision of state government granting licences to the UP Cooperative Sugar Factories Federation Limited and M/s Blue Water Industries Private Limited for supplying country-made and foreign liquor.

A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice R V Raveendran issued notices after hearing counsel for the petitioner Vinay Kumar Mishra, a journalist from UP who had challenged the Allahabad High Court order dated September 7, 2007 dismissing his PIL on the grounds that he was a journalist and has no personal stake in the controversy.

Vivek Goyal appearing for the petitioner contended before the court that the licences granted to the respondents should be suspended till the final disposal of this petition.

The petitioner also prayed to the court to grant ad-interim ex-parte stay on the sale of the liquor and the collection of excise duty by the respondents.

According to the petitioner the state government cannot allow a private limited company to collect enormous amount of public taxes (approximately Rs 4,000 crore per year) in violation of the rules which prescribed that only a corporation of the state government can collect taxes.

The petitioner contended that a journalist can file a PIL even if he has no personal stake in the matter.

The state government had granted licenses to private parties in violation of its own order dated June 30, 2007.

UNI AKS/SC SW PM1650

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