Liquor not a necessary factor, says SC; dismisses plea for counter sale in Mumbai


New Delhi, July 23 

“Liquor is not an essential thing”, the Supreme Court mentioned on Thursday and dismissed an enchantment by Maharashtra Wine Merchants Association (MWMA) towards the Bombay High Court order refusing to direct the state to permit over-the-counter sale of liquor in Mumbai. 

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah mentioned: “The High Court has already permitted the petitioner to represent the matter to the Municipal Corporation. We see no reason to entertain this special leave petition. The special leave petition is dismissed.” 

Advocate Charanjeet Chanderpal, showing for the MWMA, mentioned a illustration was made to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) as directed by the excessive court docket nevertheless it has not responded as but. 

He urged the highest court docket to repair a timeframe on BMC or municipal fee for deciding the illustration of the Association. 

The counsel mentioned that on-line sale of liquor has many issues and probabilities of sale spurious liquor are very excessive whereas over-the-counter sale of liquor would forestall such merchandise being offered. 

“Liquor is not an essential thing. We are not inclined to entertain this plea,” the bench mentioned. 

On May 29, the excessive court docket had refused to quash the BMC’s order prohibiting over-the-counter sale of liquor within the metropolis, stating that it was the civic physique’s coverage choice to take action amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

It had refused to quash a notification issued by the civic physique on May 22, prohibiting over-the-counter sale of liquor and allowing the usage of e-commerce platforms for residence supply of alcohol. 

The MWMA within the excessive court docket had sought a route to the state authorities to allow sale of liquor at wine retailers in Mumbai, which is a COVID-19 pink zone. 

The petition had contended that in cities like Pune and Nashik, the place the COVID-19 scenario was just like Mumbai, common counter sale of retail liquor was being permitted.

The MWMA had contended that the system of on-line orders and residential supply of liquor was fraught with difficulties and will have an antagonistic social affect and was additionally not protected.

The excessive court docket, nonetheless, mentioned it will be applicable for the petition to be positioned earlier than town municipal commissioner as a illustration.

The municipal commissioner will be capable of take an applicable choice after contemplating all of the elements, the court docket had mentioned. 

“This decision is in the nature of policy. Such a decision entails evaluation of various competing factors. The situation may differ from place to place. The relevant factors can also undergo a change with passage of time,” the court docket had mentioned. — PTI



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