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Maharashtra can revise decision on license to Liquor shops: SC

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, July 23 (UNI) In an important ruling, the Supreme Court has held that Maharashtra has the power to suo moto revise the decision of granting licence for a liquor shop.

Appellant Vikrama Sharma Shetty's licence to sell Foreign made Inidan Liquor was cancelled by the state government on the grounds that his restaurant was within 75 metres from the mosque and hence violated Rule 45 (1-C) of the Bombay Foreign Liquor Rules, 1953.

The appellant had applied for licence after obtaining 'no objection certificate' from the Mosque Trust. The Bombay city collector, state excise department rejected the application as the city police commissioner raised objections against grant of licence.

The Commissioner of Prohibition, however, allowed the appeal against the rejection order.

The appellant challenged the Bombay high court judegment on the grounds that so many similarly situated hotels have been granted licence while he had been discriminated against.

The bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and R V Raveendran, while dismissing the appeal on July 20, ruled, "A party cannot claim that since something wrong has been done in another case; directions should be given for doing another wrong. It would not be setting a wrong right, but would be perpetuating another wrong. In such matters, no discrimination is involved and the concept of equal treatment on the logic of Article 14 of the Constitution of India cannot be pressed into service in such matters. What the concept of equal treatment presupposes is existence of similar legal foothold.

It does not countenance repetition of a wrong action to bring both wrongs at par." The court concluded by saying, "The power of suo moto revision vested in the state government. If it acted on the basis of petition filed by police authorities, it can not be said that the exercise was beyond jurisdiction." UNI AKS/SC VA GC0928

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