A writ petition was filed in the Madhya Pradesh High Court on Saturday challenging certain provisions of the state government’s excise policy for 2022-23 announced recently.
The petition filed by city-based social organization Nagrik Upbhokta Margdarshak Manch has claimed some items, like composite shops having country-made and foreign liquor, relocation of existing shops, allowing sale of liquor in supermarkets, etc were in violation of Constitutional provisions.
The state government had issued a notification for the excise arrangement (policy) for financial year 2022-23 on January 21.
Nagrik Upbhokta Margdarshak Manch President Dr. PG Najpandey told PTI Article 47 of the Constitution lays down that the state shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs that are injurious to health, except for medicinal purposes.
“The excise arrangement allows sale of liquor in select supermarkets in Indore, Bhopal, Jabalpur and Gwalior, while there is no provision for rural areas. The excise policy also violates provisions of the MP Excise Act and Food Safety and Standards Act,” he said.
The new policy has proposed a reduction in alcohol prices by 20 per cent to increase sales and mop up more revenue. It has also okayed liquor sales in all airports and selected supermarkets in four big cities, while home bar licences can be obtained by people having an annual income of over Rs 1 crore.