Supreme Court clarified that the previous ban would not operate within the municipal limits.
Chandigarh 13 Oct.I, Kamaljit Singh Bajaj, Director of Liquor World Venture Private Ltd, would like to bring the following to your kind attention, that the current excise Policy was framed pursuant to the directions of the Honorable Supreme court. The Honorable Supreme Court had imposed a blanket ban on sale and serving of liquor in any Bar restaurant brewery vend whatsoever along the national highways. That post clarification vide order dated 11th of July 2017 the Supreme Court clarified that the previous ban would not operate within the municipal limits. In pursuance to the same the excise department renewed the licences of bars and breweries on the Madhya Marg. Since we were operating two vends from past 2 years on the Madhya Marg we also applied for relocating the vends on the Madhya Marg as the clarification issued by the Supreme Court was applicable to us as well but the excise department did not decide upon our request and even the reminder which was sent by us was ignored ultimately we had to approach the Honorable Punjab and Haryana high court and the Honorable High Court directed the excise department to decide upon our representations within 7 days. The honorable High Court had directed the excise department to grant an opportunity of hearing and accordingly on 11th of October 2017 we were called by the Collector Mr Popli in his office. There were two excise inspectors who were present there and all the officials clearly told us that they are not going to allow to relocate vends on the pretext of the fact that an amendment was required to be made in the excise policy, when I told them that the same would have been the situation for all the bars and breweries on the Madhya Marg but they were being allowed to operate without amendment; on this the excise officials had no answer. Facing the situation I immediately represented to the Honorable Advisor to look into the matter that whether the actions of the excise department, by allowing the restaurants, bars and breweries sale of liquor without making any amendment in the excise policy was legal or illegal if the actions were legal, in that eventuality, I was also similarly situated and should have been allowed to relocate my vends but if the actions of the excise department were illegal, in that eventuality, all the licences of the bars and the breweries which are located on the Madhya Marg should be suspended with immediate effect.
It is interesting that when any other contractor or owner of restaurant or owner of a brewery makes any request to the excise department. The excise department acts very swiftly but whenever any request is made by me, the excise department completely ignores the same and every time I have to approach the Honorable Punjab and Haryana High Court for getting the same decided and whenever any request is made by me the same is always rejected. It is very much clear that the excise officials are blatantly acting illegally and arbitrarily and are discriminating. The functioning of the excise department is completely going unchecked and requires thorough scrutiny and supervision by a senior officer.
The excise officer while rejecting the request for relocating the vend has completely ignored the issue of renewing the licences of bars and breweries on the Madhya Marg despite specific mention in their reminder. This clearly shows that the officials can go to any extent in order to oblige the powerful hospitality industry but are acting revengefully against and individual distributor.