No Action Against Liquor Retailers Over License Fee: Delhi Tells Court

No Coercive Action Against Liquor Retailers Over License Fee: Delhi Government Tells Court

The Delhi High Court was hearing pleas challenging decision of Delhi government to levy licence fees

New Delhi:

Delhi Government on Thursday assured the Delhi High Court that it will not take any coercive action against liquor retailers for not paying the licence fees under the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22.

Senior Advocates AM Singhvi and Rahul Mehra, appearing for Delhi Government, submitted before the High Court that it will not take any coercive action against the liquor retailers.

After the assurance given by the Delhi government, Justice Rekha Palli adjourned the matter for November 15 for further hearing.

The assurance was given orally when the court was hearing pleas by over a batch of petitions challenging the decision of the Delhi government to levy licence fees with effect from November 1, 2021.

The plea was filed by 16 petitioners, who are successful bidders of L-7Z (zonal licence for retail vend of Indian liquor and foreign liquor) and L-7V (retail vend of Indian liquor, foreign liquor in a zone). The petitioners have sought to declare the Delhi government’s decision to levy licence fees as illegal.

The pleas also sought to restrain the government from demanding the sums of money in the form of licence fees or security deposit and also to direct the authorities not to levy or demand licence fees from the successful bidders until the government performs its own obligations under the tender terms and conditions and the Delhi Excise policy 2021-2022.

Standing counsel of Delhi Govt Santosh Kumar Tripathi has also defended fresh excise policy.

The government also told Court that, “29 popular brands cover 80% of the market share in IMFL and 30 brands including 10 popular brands are already registered with MRP in all aspects between 29.10.2021 – 10.11.2021. These brands cover 27.52 per cent of the total market share.”

The government also apprised the Court that 10 L1 wholesale licenses have applied for registration of 78 brands as of November 11 and no valid application for registration of brands is pending as of date.

The government also informed the Court that 92 brands of foreign liquor have been scrutinized and awaiting online application by the wholesaler and once validly applied, the process will be completed in 48 hours.