HC asked govt to reply on Petition Challenging Home Delivery of Liquor

Delhi High Court asked the Delhi government to reply on plea filed by BJP MP Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma that challenged the provision home delivery of liquor in new excise policy of 2021.

Highlights

  • Bench comprising of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh is hearing the petition.
  • Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi submitted, from the government’s side, that Rs 10,000 crore has been earned by Delhi after new excise policy came into force amid the ongoing pandemic.

About the petition

In the petition, Rule 66(6) of the Delhi Excise (Amendment) Rules of, 2021, has been challenged. As per petition, rule 66(6) suffered from several constitutional illegalities and is not sustainable under law. Petition highlights that, new policy undermines ban on consumption of liquor at public places by making it possible to deliver alcohol to public places. Rules enable the possibility of delivery of alcohol at hospitals and schools. It does not provide provisions for the safety of those delivering the liquor. Further, home delivery of liquor is against Article 47 of the Constitution. According to article 47, it is the duty of state to improve public health.

Delhi Government view

Delhi government defended its New Excise Policy 2021 in court citing that this would generate optimum revenue and ensure ease of doing business. It will also eliminate cartelization, proxy players and monopoly. According to government, privatisation of government liquor vends and equitable redistribution of liquor vends “would lead to increase in free competition and overwhelm existing cartels across market”.

Is it subject of judicial interference?

On the question that, citizens of India have no fundamental right to trade in liquor, Delhi government highlighted, Excise Policy 2021-22 has been formulated in larger public interest. As it is an economic policy, it does not warrant judicial interference.

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