The Punjab and Haryana High Court has allowed a liquor vendor to operate Duty
Paid liquor vend at Chandigarh International Airport till April 10.
The order has been passed by the Bench of Justice Ritu Bahri and Justice Manisha
Batra, while hearing the plea of Liquor World Venture Private Limited.
The petitioner, Liquor World Venture Private Limited through counsels, Senior
Advocate Chetan Mittal with Advocates Kunal Mulwani and Abhinav Gupta, had
placed a set of Commercial Manual, 2019, issued by the Airport Authority of India,
in which there is a provision for duty free liquor shops, which are to be given for a
period of five years.
The rules also prescribe the technical eligibility criteria for giving the shops for five
years. The plea said that the vend — Liquor World Venture Private Limited — had
been allotted a shop at the Chandigarh Airport through e-tender on November 29,
2019, and pursuant to the allotment of the shop, the petitioner was allotted a license
to sell liquor on November 2, 2020, and further the license was renewed for the
years 2021-22 and 2022-23.
The plea said that for this year, a new Excise Policy has now been framed. As per
this policy, no retail liquor vend (L-2 License) is allowed inside the airport.
The counsel representing the Punjab Excise Department submitted that the
petitioner can have no grievances as his license was issued only for one year and as
per the excise policy now, the petitioner has no right to claim a licence once the
vend has been withdrawn.
Also the respondent counsel submitted that beforeformulating the excise policy, emails were sent to the petitioner as well as to the CEO of Chandigarh International Airport Limited.
The HC, after hearing the matter, said, “Keeping in view that the shop had been
allotted as per the Commercial Manual, 2019, a direction is being given that the
representatives of the Airport Authority of India, members of Chandigarh
International Airport Limited and representatives of the excise department to hold
a meeting to discuss the issue of withdrawal of L-2 liquor vend, whether temporary
or permanently, from the airport and inform, in this regard, in writing to this court
on the next date of hearing.”
The HC while adjourning the matter for April 10, said, “Pursuant to the allotment of
the shop to the petitioner as per Commercial Manual, 2019, the Excise Department
had given no objection certificate for inviting tenders for allotting the vend in the
shop. Keeping in view this fact, the petitioner can operate the liquor vend till the
next date of hearing.”