Amar Nath
DEVASTATING EFFECTS OF NEW LIQUOR POLICY UNDER EXCISE RULES 2020-21 IN DELHI
Amar Nath Saini 25 Nov 2021

DEVASTATING EFFECTS OF NEW LIQUOR POLICY UNDER  EXCISE RULES 2020-21 IN DELHI

New Excise Policy 2020-21 of Delhi government is implemented from 17th November, 2021 paving the way to have every corner of Delhi a liquor shop within the reach of every delhiites and anyone visting here.

Freeship to lure the voters to remain in power of politics is recent emperiment successfully tested in Delhi, but as nothing comes free in this materialistic world, it has a big cost to be paid by Delhiites sacrificing their peace, social security and apprehending devastating impact on new generations with the abundance of availability of liquor in each and every part of Delhi as Delhi government has aimed to provide liquor to reach the youngsters from newly reduced age from 25 to 21 years and above to generate revenues oversighting or supressing the common voices being raised by Delhiites by intense protests and agitations just in front of the newly licensed liquor shops in almost every part of Delhi.

Delhiites’ consent popularly known to be “Janta Ki Awaaj” once claimed to be the centre of every decision of Delhi government has been thrown to oblivion by a drastic turn surpassing common sentiments of the people.

Just taking a drive in any part of the city, protestors sitting round the clock in front of the newly licenced liquor shops can easily be seen having fear on their faces to have a liquor shop just in their neighbourhood.

Many Resident Welfare Associations with their meagre finance have been compelled to knock the door of the justice delivery system by pleading all the apprehensions citing their inconveniences and proximity of the liquor shops being surrounded by residential oriented market for daily necessities to the nearby residential socieities/blocks, consisting of various shops providing daily necessities i.e. a Mother Dairy Booth of Delhi Milk Scheme, Dry Cleaners, Chemist Shops, Groceries Shops, Stationary Shops, Government Banks, Gyms, Jewellers, Ladies Salons, Coaching Institutions, Government Post Offices.

In some instances, it is specifically pleaded that vicinity of the liquor shops are such that they are frequented and occupied from morning to late evening hours by children, ladies, old/senior citizens for various reasons including bringing milk particularly from Mother Dairy Booths situated just within 10-15 meters from “those liquor shops”, buying school stationary, daily grocery items and other daily home used items, and the proximity with Voter Card Identification Centers of Delhi Election Commission for various services including preparation and modification of Voter Identity cards frequently visited by all citizens of various age, women and men, swimming pool operated by Delhi Municipal Corporation for children, Old Aged/Senior Citizen Recreation Centres, Coaching Institutions, and a Municipal Corporation Primary Schools, within a small radius of “those liquor shops”.

Ignorance and dereliction to grant license to those shops is visible to see the various schools and religious places or temples situated just within distances of 200-300 meters from “those liquor shops".

The presence of the liquors shops in residential areas where people from two-three generations are living a peaceful life have been alarmed as soon as the news and information about opening of them hit their knowledge/ears creating panic, anger, shock, anxiety and fear in their minds for the safey, security and wellbeings of themselves and their family members particularly their growing children. Apprehensions are expressed that if those shops are allowed to be opened, the peace, tranquillity, safety and sense of security of the residents would be shaken following the law and order situation from grave to worst.

People are apprehending that a sense of freedom in sending their children out to buy milk, stationary, medicines and other necessities to nearby small market would be shaken the moment those shops would be operational devastating the sense of security in the people’s mind, certainly giving adverse impact on the mindset of the children going and coming from the school and coaching institutions, women and senior citizen visiting market and temples situated nearby; as many studies worldwide have shown direct increase/impact of crimes with the influence of alcohol. The social fabric is such that in some of the places where those shops are granted license to operate pertains the places where routinely residents residing nearby generally organize various religious programs including “Bhagwat Gita Paath”, “Mata Ki Chowki”, “Khatu Shyam Kirtan”, “Sai Baba Kirtan and Palki” and “Mata Ka Jagran”, but the liquor shops just nearby those events would not only hurt the people’s religious sentiments, but also create law and order situations at all times disturbing the peaceful atmoshphere of the locality.

The most significant requirement of availability of the parking near such shops have been given go-bye as a large number of those shops are lacking sufficient parking space which would certainly give rise huge traffic snarls in the city. Nowadays, parking is one of the biggest problems in almost all the places in Delhi, but ignorance of parking space near those shops will add another menace of parking and traffic congestions in the vicinity creating tremendous inconvenience to the residents living nearby.

The newly allowed liquor shops are lacking to fulfil even the basic conditions enjoined in the new excise policy specifically but not limited to as mentioned in the Delhi Excise Policy For the Year 2021-22 including some of which provided like

“4.1.6 TERMS & CONDITIONS TO BE FOLLOWED BY RETAIL LICENSEE:

i) The proposed retail vend in the form of L-7V should comply with Rule 51(1) of the Delhi Excise Rules, 2010. The retail vends can be opened in any of the markets, malls, commercial roads/areas, local shopping complexes (LSCs) etc. as long as the standard rules and regulations of opening a new vend in Delhi is followed which includes restrictions on opening vends within a specified distance of schools, religious institutions etc.

ii) xxxxxxx

ii) xxxxxxx

v) xxxxxxx

v) xxxxxxx

vi) Licensee shall be responsible for law and order and security around their shop. In case the shop causes nuisance for the neighbourhood and complaint is received by the Government, the license of that particular vend will be cancelled. However, there shall be no reduction in the license fee for the zone.

vii) xxxxxxx

viii) The licensees will have to ensure compliance of all the terms and conditions of the license including but not limited to:

a. xxxxxxx

b. xxxxxxx

c. No major complaints from the nearby community against the shop.

d. Neighborhood should not experience any disturbance due to the vend.

e. Maintenance of law and order and good conduct in their vicinity.

f. xxxxxxx

g. xxxxxxx

h. xxxxxxx

i. xxxxxxx

j. xxxxxxx

k. xxxxxxx

ix) The compliance of license parameters and maintenance of law and order in the vicinity of his vends shall be an important parameter to decide whether his zonal license should be renewed at the end of year.

x) Stringent penal action will be taken against any licensee if any of the conditions are not complied to including but not limited to immediate cancelling of the license of the particular vend. It may also lead to non-renewal of zone license in subsequent years.

Even as per the provisions of the Excise Policy 2021, it is provided that there should not be any dry snacks or cooked food outlet gets opened right outside those shops which encorages people to drink and loiter around the shop itself, but there are already at some places dry snacks and cooked food shops existing in front of “those liquor shops” which will certainly give rise to serious law and order situation.

Data of National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) in the year 2015 says "Alcoholism plays a major role in 70-85% of offences against women. The survey was recently conducted, based on national crime records bureau data, according to which 2,026 girls and women in 2014 were sexually exploited, 1,423 were kidnapped, 1,286 were raped, and 11,206 faced several forms of violence and crime”; and according to the government's own National Family Health survey data, there is a direct link between alcohol use and violence by men. So certainly, it will escalate. That crimes against women in Delhi have reached their peak, the direct link between alcohol and crime against women cannot be overshadowed by the revenue that these liquor shops generate, it's the duty of the government to insure safety to the citizens and for the same cause, the location of wine and liquor shop must be well examined, allowing it in a residential area will prove to be a blunder adding to the already monstrous issue due to neverending crowds in front of shop.

In Sunil Batra v. Delhi Administration, the Supreme Court held that the ‘right to life’ included the right to lead a healthy life to enjoy all faculties of the human body in their prime conditions. It would even include the right to protect a person’s tradition, culture, heritage and all that gives meaning to a man’s life. In addition, it consists of the Right to live and sleep in peace and the Right to repose and health.

In M.C. Mehta v. Union of India (2006) , the Apex court held that the blatant and large-scale misuse of residential premises for commercial use in Delhi violated the right to a salubrious sand decent environment. Taking note of the problem, the Court issued directives to the government on the same

Prevailing situations essentially requires a relook at the provisions of the new Excise Policy 2021 implemented by Delhi government in the interest of public peace, social harmony and public policy.

Written by

Amar Nath Saini

Advocate

Supreme Court of India 


 

Did you find this write up useful? YES 4 NO 2
xyz  27 Nov 2021 1:43am
Absolutely misleading article ot be published
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