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Haryana's excise policy challenged, HC serves notice

Written by: Staff
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Chandigarh, Mar 28 (UNI) The failure of the Haryana government to fix the maximum retail price of liquor and the increase in the total number of vends in the excise policy for the next financial year beginning April 1, 2006, has been challenged through a PIL in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The court's division bench comprising Chief Justice D K Jain and Justice Surya Kant today directed the Haryana government to produce on April 3e the record wherein the decision in regard to the new excise policy has been taken to show why maximum retail price of liquor bottle had not been fixed whereas the minimum price was fixed.

A petition against similar excise policy for 2006-07 for Punjab and the union territory of Chandigarh too is pending before the bench and the respondents have been asked to seek instructions in the matter from their respective governments and submit the same on April 3.

The counsel for Jagdish Prasad who has filed the PIL about the new excise policy of Haryana pointed out that the number of liquor vends had been more than doubled. In support of his argument, the counsel informed that in Rewari district, which had 64 liquor vends in the current fiscal year, the same has been raised to 170 in 2006-07 and in Gurgaon the figure has gone up from existing 100 to 231.

The increase, he further stated, was totally against the public interest and the policy had been framed without following the Punjab excise act as applicable to Haryana, Haryana liquor licence rules, Punjab intoxicants licence and sale order, 1956. Also, the vends to sell Indian made foreign liquor(IMFL) had been granted against unsold country liquor vends in the same area where such vends had already been allotted.

It was also pointed out that as per provisions of the Article 47 of the Constitution ''the state shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of consumption'' whereas in the present case the Haryana government has increased the number of liquor vends by changing the country liquor vends (L-14) to IMFL(L-2) which was totally against the law and thr rules framed there under''.

UNI XC PS ARB GC2001

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