Right to carry on business of ''liquor'' not fundamental: HC

Chennai, Jan 12 (PTI): The Madras High Court today ruledthat the right to carry on business of liquor is not afundamental right, though the right to carry on business is afundamental one.

"It is well-settled law that right to carry on business isa fundamental right, but right to carry on business of liquor,including foreign liquor, is not a fundamental right. Such aright is regulated by the policy framed by the Government fromtime to time," the court said.

The First Bench, comprising Chief Justice M Y Eqbal andJustice T S Sivagnanam made this observation while dismissinga writ appeal filed by Puducherry Elite Distilleries, seekinga direction to authorities for grant of a Small Scale IndustryProvisional Certificate to start an Indian Made Foreign Liquor(IMFL) unit in the Union Territory.

The appellant''s application was earlier rejected byauthorities on the grounds that Government policy does notfavour encouraging new IMFL units or expanding such units inthe Union Territory.

The authorities took a similar stand in the subsequent writpetition filed by the firm, saying that the Government, as pera policy decision, had stopped issuing such certificates after1996. A single judge of the High Court had dismissed the writpetition.

Upholding the single judge�s order, the Bench said theappellant had failed to produce any document to show thatauthorities have issued any provisional registration for themanufacture of an IMFL unit to any person after May 16, 1996.


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