Lawstreet Journal

Sale and Consumption of Liquor is a Privilege Granted by The State for Which Special Fee Can Be Levied: Delhi Government Informs Delhi HC

Lawstreet Journal 29 May 2020 9:42pm

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Executive Sale and Consumption of Liquor is a Privilege Granted by The State for Which Special Fee Can Be Levied: Delhi Government Informs Delhi HC

In recent events, the Assistant Commissioner of Excise, Delhi Government, has informed the Delhi High Court that the Delhi Excise Act 1944, and the rules framed under it, rightfully empower the State to not only regulate the buying and selling of liquor but also formulate fledged discrete policies, guidelines, and rules for the regulation of liquor sale.

This information has been obtained from an affidavit in a PIL filed by Praveen Gulati in which he challenges the decision taken by the Delhi Government to impose a ‘Special corona fee’ of 70% on the sale of liquor.

The affidavit states the following: “There’s an element of privilege vis-a-vis the sale/dealing in liquor or for that matter the consumption of liquor, which the state is free to accord or regulate as per the State Excise law. Accordingly, the State also is free to impose and recover a price for grant of such privilege”. 

Subordinate legislation or administrative orders can be executed for such a grant of privilege for the sale or consumption/regulation of liquor which the affidavit submits.

The imposition of this special “Corona Fee” during times of circumstantial distress caused due to the global pandemic of COVID-19, is no more than a combination of price towards the grant of privilege as well as the cost of regulation or supervision.

Furthermore, apart from Delhi, 10 other states also have similar impositions of levy on alcohol, highlight the affidavit.

While challenging the application of sections 26 and 28 of the Delhi Excise Act 1944 in the present case, the affidavit also brings to light that the MRP… Continue Reading...


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